The Prison Service has unveiled tough new measures to reduce
high levels of staff sickness.
A new formula is being used to assess absence records, which
multiplies the frequency of periods of absence by the total days of absence.
Called the Bradford Formula, the resulting score indicates
whether there is a need for disciplinary action. It is advocated by the
Industrial Society and considered best practice by the National Audit Office.
Martin Narey, director general of the Prison Service, said, “Staff
sickness levels are currently unacceptably high at an average of about 14 days
a year per officer. The financial cost of this a lone is over £65 million a
“The introduction of the new guidelines sends a clear
message that the service is no longer prepared to tolerate excessive and
unwarranted staff sickness absence.”
A similar initiative introduced in the Scottish Prison
Service last year resulted in a reduction of staff absences of around 20 per
cent, claims the service.