COUNCIL chiefs have revealed that staff sickness rates remain below the national average in terms of both the public and private sector.
The average number of days lost annually through sickness at Staffordshire County Council is 7.2 days per employee, compared to 8.6 days nationally in the public sector and 7.7 in the private sector.
The authority has been further boosted after new statistics showed the figure had fallen even more – to 7.06 days – since December.
Bosses have put the positive result down to a package of measures put in place two years ago in a bid to reduce high levels of employee absence.
County council deputy leader and cabinet member responsible for human resources Ian Parry (pictured) said: “Through a more innovative approach to addressing employee sickness absence it means we have more people delivering services to Staffordshire people.
“More than 1,000 managers received training and information on staff absence. New reporting measures have also been introduced.
“We now have a more modern, effective approach to improve and maintain the health of our workforce and it is a real success story that we have reached a position where our sickness average is below both public and private sector national figures.”
Managers can refer an employee within 24 hours of them calling in sick, so that physiotherapists can literally get hands on the problem within 48 hours to assess an individual’s condition and begin treatment.
Before the initiative was introduced, musculoskeletal problems were the cause of 30 per cent of all sick days. In 2012-13 there was a 15 per cent reduction in issues relating to this, equating to a saving of 4,800 days and almost £300,000.