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Absence in worst Bradford Council department cut by 25%
Sickness rates are continuing to improve in one Bradford Council department which has historically had the worst record.
Over the past four years the average number of days lost per employee in adult and community services has dropped by a quarter from 20.05 in 2008/09 to 14.58 in 2011/12, nearly five a half days.
And the estimate for this year as of June was 12.8 days, which would place the department only two days on average above the figure across the whole authority. Back in 2008/09 the discrepancy was seven and a half days.
An intervention team has spent 12 months working with staff to bring sickness absence levels down.
A report to the corporate overview and scrutiny committee which meets at City Hall tomorrow at 5.30pm has highlighted that good progress has been made in all services with the exception of residential and day care.
Janice Simpson, the Council’s interim strategic director of adult and community services, states: “The services have experienced significant changes over the past 18 months and therefore plans have been developed to refocus managerial efforts to improve the levels of sickness absence in teams with high levels of absence.”
She added that sickness among manual workers in the department remains higher than officers and while long-term sickness has reduced this year so far, short-term absence has increased.
“The service areas with the highest sickness levels are residential and day services, which are showing an increase from 16.6 days in 2010/11 to 19.3 days in 2011/12 and the rolling figure for July 11 to June 12 at 19.5 days.
“Residential and day care services have been subjected to significant changes with three homes closing last year and three homes with uncertain futures, this has clearly had an impact.
“In addition services have had high levels of temporary staff which is also likely to have had a negative effect on absence levels.
“The main reasons for sickness absence continue to be stress related; fracture/sprain/muscular; back problems and cold/flu/viral.”