Council managers to be trained to tackle sickness absence

Managers at Bradford Council are being retrained in a bid to cut down on the number of sick days clocked up by staff last year. Each of the authority’s 19,800 staff took an average of 13 days off in the financial year 2004-5.

The council has introduced new attendance procedures and guidelines to tackle the problem, and also said a major attendance review will take place this year.

But public sector union Unison said the way the council calculated its sick leave meant it included maternity leave, people with registered disabilities, hospital appointments and compassionate leave.

“We believe it is more like four or five days per employee in lost time due to the way the authority calculates its sickness record. In the private sector that would not be classed as sickness,” it said.

CBI figures show the average private sector worker took only six days off sick in 2004.

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