Falkirk Council aims to maximise attendance and minimise ill-health amongst its employees by promoting Health at Work. It is recognised that attendance of employees at work is crucial for the effective operation of the Council's services. High levels of attendance at work will contribute positively to the provision of quality services. Low levels of attendance, on the other hand, will adversely affect service provision in terms of both quality and performance, and may result in low morale and motivation generally amongst employees.
The Council is committed to providing fair and proper support to our employees during times of sickness absence to facilitate a return to work. We are also committed to monitoring absence levels to support and improve service delivery whilst remaining responsive to the needs of the employees and equality obligations. .
The absence target for all employee groups has remained at 4% for some years.
For 2016/17, Falkirk Council reported 11.45 days lost for all employees (excluding Teachers), compared to a national average of 10.92. This is an increase from 11.18 as reported for 2015/16.
For 2016/17, Falkirk Council reported 5.22 working days lost for Teachers and Associated Professions, compared to the national average of 6.06 days lost per teacher per year. This is an increase from 4.73 as reported for 2015/16.
What the Council is doing to improve services
Additional support was introduced for managers via an HR Officer post within Social Work Adult Services, with earlier referrals to Occupational Health for musculo-skeletal problems and stress related conditions. There has also been proactive use of return to work interviews and absence management monitoring. Further support has also been provided to Children's Services using the same model.
The Council has also reviewed its Managing Sickness Absence Policy to have tighter absence triggers and have clearer timescales for reviewing long term absence.
Myview has been rolled out to services to ensure up to date and real time information is available on absence statistics. This places responsibility for the recording of absence on managers and encourages use of Return to Work interviews.