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Decision details

Sickness and Absenteeism

Decision Maker: Policy & Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


David Fairclough and Corinne McMillan circulated a briefing note and reported on some key information in relation to management of Attendance at the Council.


Comparative figures for average sickness across Lancashire were presented, and it was noted that for Blackburn with Darwen, the overall position was positive with the average days per employee lost to sickness being 9.24 for 2017/18 compared to 9.37 for the previous year. Members were advised that district councils tended to perform better in comparison, but that they didn’t have certain job groups, ie care workers. Of the three unitary authorities in Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen was the highest performing.


A number of Health and Wellbeing Activities were outlined, the aim of which was to support employees and keep them healthy and at work. Mental Health was a key focus and there were now 64 qualified Mental Health First Aiders at the Council.



A number of Wellbeing events and activities had been arranged across the past year, along with a dedicated Health and Wellbeing week. In addition to these events there was a continuing focus on Stress Management.


Members of the Committee asked a number of questions and made comments on the approach identified and the key points arising were:


·         Budget – there was no dedicated budget for these activities, but existing resources across the Council were utilised and this helped reduce the number of Occupational Health referrals.


·         Adult Health and Social Care and Children’s Services – lack of take up of activities on offer noted and also use of Agency staff, the costs of which were around £8-£10k a week.


·         Long term absences were reducing but short term absences were increasing, although this varied by Department.


At this point of the meeting Cllr Andy Kay, David Fairclough and Corinne McMillan left the meeting. This topic would be further discussed under the Work Programme agenda item.


RESOLVED – That the Officers be thanked for the information presented.

Publication date: 17/12/2018

Date of decision: 17/12/2018

Decided at meeting: 17/12/2018 - Policy & Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee