Council staff off sick for total of 4,399 days

PUBLISHED: 14:23 30 July 2015

Wooden doctor desk with copy space

Wooden doctor desk with copy space


Long-term sick leave for depression, personal stress and fatigue contributed to an increase in staff absence at East Devon District Council (EDDC) last year, new figures have revealed.

A report to the authority’s scrutiny committee shows that an average of 10.41 days were lost per full-time equivalent member of staff during 2014/15.

This equates to a total of 4,399 days across the whole authority.

EDDC is one of East Devon’s largest employers.

It has more than 400 full-time equivalent staff on its books.

Last year’s figure represents a 23 per cent increase on the previous year.

In 2013/2014, there were 8.44 days lost due to sickness per person.

A major factor in the increase was a 495 per cent rise in days lost to ‘work-related stress’.

The report says this was down to a ‘particular set of circumstances’ in the council’s StreetScene department which had now been resolved.

The report adds that without the 643 days lost to work-related stress, the total number of days lost per member of staff across the organisation would have been 8.5.

The most days lost last year were due to cancer and cancer treatment, with 753 days lost.

Personal stress, depression, anxiety and fatigue were listed as the cause for 708 days of staff absence.

The report says this is a reflection of the national trend.

But the council recorded a decrease of 15 per cent in short-term sick leave, for things like colds and flu.

The report says this has been partly achieved by the ‘consistently high proactive approach adopted by the human resources team’.

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