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Agenda Item No. 12

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 14 DECEMBER 2017

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 4 DECEMBER 2017

 

 

C164              SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT - APRIL 2017 TO SEPTEMBER 2017 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) –   

 

Cabinet was updated on the sickness absence statistics for the 6 month period 1 April, 2017 to 30 September, 2017.

 

The levels of sickness absence within the Council were reported to Cabinet every six months. The report was part of a wider performance monitoring framework and improvement plan as originally approved by Cabinet in July 2015.  The report set out the sickness absence information for the period 1 April, 2017 to 30 September, 2017, including corporate and schools employees. It also included details of sickness absence figures for the period 1 April, 2016 to 30 September, 2016 and external data for comparative purposes. The report acknowledged the work and commitment of all managers, employees and trade union colleagues in relation to the continual management of sickness absence.

 

The total days/shifts lost per FTE for the period April 2017 to September 2017 indicated an increase in absence levels in comparison with 2016 (from 3.76 to 4.45 days) which represented an overall increase of 0.69 of a day lost per FTE.

 

A summary of absence levels within each Directorate was set out below. A breakdown of absence in each Service area was included within Appendix A attached to the report.

 

Directorate

April 2016 to

Sep 2016

April 2017 to

Sep 2017

 

Total days /

shifts lost per FTE

Total days /

shifts lost per FTE

Annual Target

Social Services

  5.51

  6.50

  5.80

Environment & Housing

  4.48

  5.09

  5.85

MD and Resources

  2.19

  4.26

  2.90

Learning and Skills

  3.51

  4.18

  4.15

Totals - excluding Schools

  4.10

  5.16

  4.45

Schools

  3.40

  3.69

  3.95

Totals - including Schools

  3.76

  4.45

  4.45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

The overall increase in absence levels was disappointing given the range of positive measures that had been put in place and particularly the increased scrutiny of absence across all directorates and by the Council's Corporate Management Team. The report noted that the increase was, to a degree, an understandable reflection of the volume of change and transformation that was being managed across all service areas and something which had been reflected across the majority of other Welsh Local Authorities.

 

The performance management approach to this issue would continue (and be intensified) throughout the remainder of 2017/18, alongside the range of measures as set out in paragraphs 25 to 40 of the report and the action plan attached at Appendix B to the report. A full end of year review was going to be presented to Cabinet in June 2018.

 

The most common reasons for sickness absence in the Council (including in Schools) over the period April 2017 to September 2017 were listed below, along with a comparison of the previous period (April 2016 to September 2016). A full breakdown of sickness reasons was attached at Appendix C to the report.

 

 

Absence reason

April 2016 to

September 2016

April 2017 to

September 2017

1

Stress

24.1%

28.8%

2

Operations and Recovery

21.4%

20.1%

3

Musculoskeletal Disorders

11.3%

11.9%

4

Viral Infection

12.8%

11.1%

 

The top three reasons for long-term absence mirrored that for overall sickness absence. Stress remained the main reason for long-term absences, followed by Operations and Recovery and Musculoskeletal Disorders. Details were set out in the table below:-

 

 

Absence reason

April 2016 to September 2016

April 2017 to September 2017

1

Stress

39.7%

34.2%

2

Operations and Recovery

20.5%

23.8%

3

Musculoskeletal Disorders

15.7%

11.8%

 

Viral infections remained the main reason recorded for short-term/intermittent absences, followed by Stress and Stomach Ailments, as outlined below:

 

 

Absence reason

April 2016 to September 2016

April 2017 to September 2017

1

Viral Infection

32.2%

28.6%

2

Stomach Ailments

13.0%

13.3%

3

Stress

11.9%

13.3%

 

As indicated above, an action plan for improving the management of attendance was approved by Cabinet in 2015. The momentum behind this action plan had been maintained over the first six months of this financial year and an update on actions within the plan were set out in Appendix B attached to the report.

 

Information from the Welsh Local Government Association had been compiled for the financial year 2016/17 to be able to compare with other authorities within Wales.

 

Appendix D attached to the report showed a breakdown of the total days lost per FTE for all Welsh authorities. For 2016/17, the Vale of Glamorgan Council had the third lowest absence rate (8.8 days per FTE) across Wales. The average absence rate across all reporting Welsh Local Authorities was 10.3 days for 2016/17.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report and the half yearly sickness absence figures attached at Appendix A to the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress made in relation to the action plan attached at Appendix B to the report be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Performance & Resources) for consideration.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To bring matters to the attention of Cabinet in line with corporate objectives.

 

(2)       To inform Cabinet of the progress in relation to the agreed management of attendance action plan.

 

(3)       To enable the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Performance & Resources) to maintain a continued focus on the management of sickness absence throughout all services of the Council.

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 4 DECEMBER 2017