Council loses 9.2 days per employee per year to sickness

It is no wonder that the Council is so ineffective”, says Greenhalgh

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Absenteeism at Hammersmith & Fulham Council was featured by the Daily Telegraph in January 2004
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With new figures revealing Hammersmith & Fulham Council loses 9.2 days per employee per year to sickness, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh is calling on the Labour administration to sort its act out and cut the number of lost sick days.

In the 2002/03 year, an average of 8.8 days were lost through sickness, however this has risen for the 2003/04 year to 9.2 days. Particularly bad this year are the finance department, who have lost an average of 12.2 days and the Direct Services Department, who have lost an average of 12.1 days, up from 10.5 days last year.

The figures, shown in the agenda for the Leadership Scrutiny Panel for 26th October, come after a spell when the Council claimed it was regaining control, after disastrous publicity for the authority in 2000 – 2002 over its sick-note culture.

Commenting, Cllr Greenhalgh said:

“With stress, depression, anxiety, neurasthenia, mental health and fatigue all featuring as more prominent reasons for sick leave than infections and back problems, it is clear that Hammersmith & Fulham Council has a big problem.

“It is no wonder that the Council is so ineffective, when so many days are lost in this way.

“Labour need to recognise that the Council is lacking overall direction from senior Councillors, who have run out of ideas. The morale crisis starts at the top.

“All councils have a duty to the taxpayer to ensure that their money is spent wisely – this must include ensuring sick days among public sector employees are both legitimate and minimised.”

November 7, 2004