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Agenda item

Sickness Absence Management

Report of Officers.



Report PER/19/02 provided details of sickness absence levels in the Council during 2017/18 and Quarter 3 of 2018/19, highlighted the outturns for December 2018 and explained the actions being taken to improve sickness absence levels.


Members noted the presentation of this report to the Local Joint Committee and its discussion as set out below:


“The Head of HR and Customer Services was pleased to report that, whilst the average short term sickness absence for the rolling year at the end of December 2018 had shown 3.53 days, just over the target of 3.5, the figure for 31 January 2019 had reduced to 3.39 days.  She added that total sickness absence for the rolling year at the end of December 2018 was 8.01 with 7.86 achieved by the end of January 2019 and that there were 50 days less sickness absence compared with the previous January, 2018.


The Committee was also referred to details of the health and wellbeing initiatives that had and were being organised, including a New Year Wellbeing event that ran between 29 January and 6 February this year. 


An internet link was then displayed on screen for the Committee’s information which gave visual information on a potential new food bar/kiosk for the staff rest room on the second floor.  The link showed the type of set up that could be provided by Foodies MicroMarket, consisting of chillers containing a range of healthy food options and a self service pay option.  The Head of HR and Customer Services  advised that the self service pay option involved the monitoring of transactions via a camera to ensure food was paid for, the availability of food that could be heated by microwave and food choices to be tailored to the Council’s specific requirements.  She said that the next step was to look at the layout of the service at the company’s headquarters in Hemel and get an idea of the potential costs but she considered that it could be of great benefit to staff if it were affordable.


A Councillor asked about the likely cost to the Council which she was told was yet to be ascertained.  Another Councillor asked whether there were any local businesses on the High Street which could provide a similar service.  The Head of HR and Customer Services replied that the Council had engaged a local business several years ago but this had provided less healthy options such as baguettes and crisps and had operated on a mobile basis.  She said that another advantage of the current proposal was that it would be fixed in‑house.


          The Committee gave its full support to the proposed addition to the staff rest room.”


The Head of HR and Customer Services referred Members to the additional confidential case information provided in Appendix A of the Personnel Committee report and supplied Members with further details in respect of each of the cases.


She also highlighted report paragraph 5.2.7 which showed that 50 members of staff had been awarded a zero sickness absence attendance award in Quarter 3 and that 107 employees had achieved zero sickness absence over the year to date which equated to over a third of the workforce.  It was agreed that the figures were very good. 


Members noted that the Council would be continuing with its target of 3.5 days average sickness absence per person for the next year


        RESOLVED that the analysis of sickness absence levels and the absence management actions taken, be noted.