Sickness Costs At Caerphilly Council Reach Almost £1m A Month

05/07/2019

The startling cost of sickness at Caerphilly Council has been revealed – at almost £1M A MONTH.

A Freedom of Information request by Plaid Cymru also revealed that almost 12.3 days were lost per full-time equivalent employee during the last financial year, 2017-18.

The FoI request asked the council for an estimated cost of sickness throughout 2017-18 but the authority refused to supply the information because, they said, it would exceed cost limits under the Freedom of Information Act.

We asked what the council could supply within cost limits and they provided information for just one month – January 2018 and they revealed the cost was £988,103.

Caerphilly council also provided details of the percentage sickness absence rates for the past three years – between 4.51% and 4.78% -  and a sickness rate broken down by department which varied between 2.78% and 7.29% in 2017-18.

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly council, said: “I’m disappointed that in 2019 the council’s information system is not easily and quickly able to draw out the annual cost of sickness across the authority. This clearly needs to be looked at because it is important that all councillors are aware of the costs so they can ensure the issue is tackled.

“It concerns me that given the costs of sickness involved no report has been prepared for council over the past five years.”

“Given the information provided there is clearly a need for a full report on sickness levels, costs and what is being done to reduce the levels of absences. I will be asking for a report.”