BNFL cuts sick leave with prize draw

British Nuclear Fuel’s Preston plant has reduced its sickness absence rate
by 25 per cent, saving the company £110,000, thanks to a prize draw incentive
scheme.

The company offered employees a chance to enter a prize draw for a new Ford
Focus if they had not taken a day off sick during last year.

At the end of the 12 months more than 1,000 of the Springfields plant’s
17,000 employees were eligible for the prize draw. In the previous year just
800 staff did not take any sick leave.

John Cooper, business change specialist at the plant, believes the scheme
helped to reduce the number of working days lost over the 12 months to October
2001 from 4,665 to 3,583, equating to a £110,000 saving in recruitment agency
fees.

Cooper said, "Reducing sickness absence is important to the company and
its employees. If time off work is unnecessary then the employees’ contribution
to the business is lost. It is our aim to maximise employee effectiveness by
minimising time off."

Following the annual car draw success the plant has introduced quarterly
draws, with a prize of £1,000 in holiday vouchers.

Cooper believes the new scheme will help improve sickness absence rates
further and save the company more money.

"Under the regular draws staff have more chances to win, which means
more incentive to work. After all, any absence is detrimental to the
business," he added.

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