Sickness absence costs Dundee City Council £5.75m a year

Sickness absence is costing Dundee City Council £5.75m a year, a report has revealed.

A progress report on the council’s absence action plan showed that the council spent £5.75m in 2004-05 to cover sickness absence.

Jim Petrie, assistant chief executive of Dundee City Council, said: “The council, like most other public sector employers, pays employees – depending on length of service – full pay up to six months when they are off ill.”

“The cost of such sick pay is budgeted for as gross pay. What is not budgeted for is the cost of temporary cover and overtime cover and the adverse effects of absence on service delivery.”

However, the number of sick days per Dundee council employee has fallen in the past year, the Dundee Evening Telegraph reports.

The average number of days lost to sickness fell from 5.9% in 2004-05 to 5.4% last year for chief officers and local government workers, and from 5% to 4.2% for teachers.

The council is considering removing self-certification for short-term absences and introducing more sickness absence meetings as part of a management action plan.

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