Royal Mail cuts sickness absence by 18% as car giveaway makes its mark

Royal Mail has improved its sickness absence levels by 18% over the 2005-06 financial year, the firm has revealed.

The company said the latest figures underline the success of its incentive scheme, which offers its 170,000 employees the chance to win a new car in a prize draw if they have a 100% attendance record.

Nearly 56,000 employees did not miss a day at work during the 12 months to March 2006 and all have been sent a £150 holiday discount voucher as a “thank you” for their commitment.

The winners of 39 Vauxhall Astra cars have been collecting their prizes, while aanother 780 workers won shopping vouchers.

Absence rates fell to 5% at the end of March 2006, compared to 6.1% in March 2005. This drop of 1.1%, amounts to an 18% improvement, meaning that there have been about 1,800 extra people at work on any one day.

Tony McCarthy, Royal Mail’s people and operational development director, said: “It’s great news for our customers and our people that we are improving attendance at work through recognising those people who have an excellent attendance record while improving the support to our people if they are off sick.”

Royal Mail has now launched a new scheme to recognise good attendance. Anyone not taking a day off sick from 1 April to 30 September, and again from 1 October to 31 March 2007, will be entered into a draw to win £2,000 of holiday vouchers and five days’ extra annual leave.

“The new scheme has been developed after feedback from our people, who wanted more chances to win if they didn’t have a day off sick,” said McCarthy.

The company also plans to set up an ‘Attendance Academy’ in the near future to share best practice across the business.

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