Decision details

Annual Sickness Absence Report 2020-21

Decision Maker: Human Resources Committee

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Overview of the Councils sickness absence for 2020-21


The HR Specialist presented the Annual Sickness Absence Report to the Human Resources Committee during the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.


It was recommended that the Joint Consultative Panel notes the report with any actions to be taken moving forward and note the target for sickness absence for 2021/22 of 7.50 days to be maintained.


During the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, the Council had an average full time equivalent (FTE) of 398 employees. The Council lost 4040.5 working days through sickness absence, compared to 4572.4 in the previous year (a decrease of 11.6%, 531.9 days). This is equivalent to 10.15 days per FTE employee per annum. This represented a decrease of 0.73 days per FTE employee compared to last year (10.88) and an increase of 2.65 days over the target of 7.5 days per FTE employee agreed by the Human Resource Committee.


Of the total number of days lost, 3052.1days were lost through long-term absence which equated to 75.5% of all sickness absence for the period. The average duration of long term absence was 53.7 days compared to 57.5 in the previous year.


The HR Specialist confirmed that the HR team regularly report on absence and managers are supported by HR to monitor these absences. Free confidential counselling has been provided to employees, as well as an updated wellbeing policy, HR initiatives and the Council’s Employee Assistance Programme.


It was noted that the figures from COVID-19 absences in the past annum had not been included towards normal sickness absences, as agreed, and were recorded under a separate reporting method.


The Human Resources Specialist confirmed to the Committee that the Council was introducing pro-active measures and early interventions to address long term sickness days through stress, depression and fatigue. The Human Resources team are striving to improve the working environment for employees, including the most recent One Team social media on SharePoint, allowing colleagues to communicate and share positive stories.


The Committee discussed the impact on employees associated with working from home and the smart working policy, noting the positive response on individual circumstances and flexible working. It was confirmed that occupancy levels are no more than 25% currently and not all employees will return to the office full time.




(1)        the Annual Report on Employee Sickness Absence be noted; and


(2)        the sickness absence target for 2020/21 of 7.50 days be maintained.

Report author: Charles Officer

Publication date: 04/10/2021

Date of decision: 20/07/2021

Decided at meeting: 20/07/2021 - Human Resources Committee

Accompanying Documents: