Concerns over “rocketing” sickness levels at Thurrock Council

OVER 4000 days have been lost due to sickness at Thurrock Council in 2013.

The shocking statistic was revealed at a recent meeting of the ruling Labour cabinet.

The figure of 4015 compares to 2640 from January to August 2012.

The forecast at this stage is that each employee will take an average of 11.13 days off sick against a challenging year-end target of 8.5 days.

The main reasons for sickness were stress/stress-related absence (26.96%), hospitalisation/post operative (15.36%) and back/neck injuries (13.3%).

The report stated that there continues to be a multi-pronged approach to dealing with sickness absence.

It stated: “The latest actions include: reviewing the absence policy to look at: the management of long term sickness; trigger management; reviewing monitoring periods; and the flexibility of occupational health referrals.

“Stress risk assessment workshops continue to be held for managers; Ongoing analysis of stress risk assessments undertaken specifically in relation to work related stress.”

A report has been commissioned by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee specifically looking at analysing the causes of stress absences. This will be presented in October.

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