Issue - meetings

Levels of Disciplinary, Grievance and Sickness Absence

Meeting: 03/03/2020 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services) (Item 49)

49 Levels of Disciplinary, Grievance and Sickness Absence pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Report of the Chief Personnel Officer


The Committee considered the report of the Chief Personnel Officer, which provided information on the levels of discipline, grievance and sickness absence within the Council (excluding schools).


The report indicated that based on current records the total number of ‘available days’, from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019, was 619,617 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) days; that total sickness absence, both long and short term, was 38,735  FTE days which equated to 6.25%; that this comprised 1.84% short term and 4.4% long term; and that the overall Corporate target was 4% (short term 2.2%; long term 1.8%).


A programme through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would commence shortly and would provide extra support for employees to gain further help and assistance.   This would involve (at no cost to Sefton) a dedicated consultant to sign post employees to a variety of interventions.  This service would be complementary to Occupational Health.


Annexe 1 to the report provided a breakdown of formal cases for October 2018 to September 2019; and the report concluded by stating that for the period October 2018 to September 2019, 11 employees were suspended from the Authority.


Annexe 2 to the report provided data across a period of 12 months to 30 September 2019 and therefore provided an analysis of absence levels across departments. Organisational change within Sefton would continue to impact on making direct comparisons across departments but support was provided across all service areas.


Members of the Committee asked questions/commented on the following matters:  


·       DWP involvement / engagement with Sefton;

·       Mental health absenteeism, and the fact that mental health issues now carry less of a stigma;

·       Public compared to private sector statistics for sick absence;

·       The effect of staffing cuts;

·       Morale in the workplace; and

·       Benchmarking.




That the report be noted.