Calderdale has lowest council sick days

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THE average council worker in Calderdale took nearly nine days off sick last year.

It is less than any other council employee in West Yorkshire but well above the six days a year recorded among private sector workers.

There has been a steady reduction over the past four years in the number days taken off sick by Calderdale Council employees.

A report to the resources panel shows that during 2006/7 the council lost an average of 10.02 days to sickness per full-time employee.

An in-house Occupational Health Service was established in 2009 to help reduce absence levels and the figure now stands at 8.9 days, compared to the average for all West Yorkshire councils which is currently 10.7 days.

The reduction means that the council is saving about £500,000 a year terms of costs and productivity.

Although Calderdale is the best performing council in West Yorkshire, the report says the council will continue to try and improve performance further.

The long term aim is to further reduce non attendance and train managers to help them address staffing and attendance issues.

Scrutiny panel chairman Coun Bryan Smith, said work was being done to ensure absences through sickness were kept to a minimum.

“While these figures appear to be excellent but where there are sickness absence problems, we need to ensure that staff receive the support and help they need to help them back into work.”

*The average employee had 6.5 days off sick last year according to research from CBI and Pfizer - 8.1 in the public sector compared to only 5.9 in the private sector.