Council to act after staff take 700 years off

Bradford Council is to hold a review into how it manages sickness absence after it emerged that staff took a combined equivalent of 700 years off work last year.

The council is also retraining managers and has introduced new attendance procedures and guidelines in a bid to tackle the problem.

Each of the council’s 19,800 staff took an average of 13 days’ sick leave in the financial year 2004-05 – a total of 257,400 working days. The average in local government is 11.7 days, according to figures from the Employers’ Organisation for Local Government.

The figures for last year are actually an improvement on the previous financial year, when staff averaged 14.2 days off sick.

Vanda Rodgers, the council’s HR director, declined to comment. But a council spokeswoman told Personnel Today: “A review is currently being done of how we manage and support attendance. The findings of the review will be presented to councillors, and recommendations will be made as to the way forward in the spring.”

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