Agenda Item No. 5
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 21 JANUARY 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 13 JANUARY 2014
C2155 SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT – APRIL TO SEPTEMBER 2013 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –
Members were updated on the half yearly sickness statistics for the period 1st April 2013 to 30th September 2013.
The report indicated that there had been an increase in absence levels for the first half of the year and reiterated the need to retain a focus on absence management for the remaining period of the financial year.
Sickness absence levels up to September 2013 (and comparisons with the same period in 2012) for both corporate and schools employees were as follows:-
April to Sept 2012.
April to Sept 2013.
Average days / shifts lost per FTE
3.47 (days per employee)
4.05 (days per employee)
Percentage of lost time by FTE
Full details of the breakdown of the sickness absence figures by Directorate and individual service areas were set out within appendix A as attached to the report.
Although the sickness levels (at 4.05 days per employee) remained within the pro-rated target for 2013/14 i.e. 4.45 days per employee, they were, however slightly higher than at the same six monthly stage in the previous year.
The figures in Appendix A demonstrated that sickness absence within thirteen of the twenty two service areas was below target for the first six months of the year and ten service areas had lower sickness absence than in the same period in 2012.
The highest areas of absence continued to be concentrated in Adult Social Services and Visible Services. Such absence was reflective of the same experiences in other local authorities and congruent with services that had a large number of front line employees with a relatively higher exposure to risk of injury and related ill health.
Work would continue in both service areas during the remainder of 2013/14 to ensure that absence was monitored and reviewed and appropriate support was provided.
Days lost as a result of long term absence (2.82 days per employee) continued to account for approximately 70% of all absence. Short term/intermittent absence (1.23 days per employee) accounted for approximately 30%.
A table showing sickness rates with other Organisations was set out in Appendix B as attached to the report.
The recognised trade unions had raised a number of concerns about the robustness of the existing Management of Attendance Policy. This had been raised at previous Cabinet meetings and raised again at the Joint Consultative Forum in October. As a result of this it was agreed that the Head of Human Resources would review the Policy in the light of those concerns.
The review was currently underway and would be reported to Cabinet in due course. The outcome of the review would clearly need to balance the concerns as raised by the unions with the concerns about the recent increase in absence levels.
At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation commented that the level of evidence contained in the review should be detailed enough to identify types of illness / injury and other long term sickness issues, to consider whether they were work related. This would help the Council to fully address the issues and to provide sufficient appropriate support and help to staff during their return to work.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the Sickness Absence update report for the half yearly period be noted.
(2) T H A T a continued focus on the management of attendance is maintained in order to respond to the increase in absence levels for the first half of 2013/14.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration.
(4) T H A T a further report be undertaken by the Head of Human Resources and be submitted to Cabinet as soon as possible with the report also identifying types of illness / injury and other long term sickness issues and whether they were work related.
(5) T H A T a report on the full year sickness outturn figures and any issues for future consideration be submitted to Cabinet in June 2014.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To bring matters to the attention of Members in line with corporate objectives.
(2) To help respond to a recent increase in absence levels.
(3) To seek the support of Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) to maintain a continued focus on the management of absence throughout all services of the Council.
(4) To provide the opportunity for Members to review issues in relation to the management of attendance.
(5) To provide the opportunity for Members to review issues in relation to the management of attendance with reference to the full years data set.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 13 JANUARY 2014