Staff sickness costs West Norfolk council �468,210

The average West Norfolk council employee lost nine days' work to sickness last year, a report reveals.

A report to councillors says short-term absences decreased by 25pc, but longer-term absences went up by 27pc and industrial injuries by 133pc.

The report says the number of staff employed by the council fell by 8pc over the year.

Most-common reasons by percentage were surgery/hospital (18.9pc), stress, anxiety or depression (14.9pc), 'other' (14.3pc) and colds or flu (13.1pc).

'Stress/anxiety/depression is now nationally considered as the highest reason for absence,' the report says.

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'There are some instances where it may be alleged that work was a contributory factor, but on balance the majority of significant absences were due to personal issues.

'There is no overall indicative trend that work-related stress is a concern.

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'Viral, colds and flu, despite the apparent high national levels of reporting on these conditions actually reduced by 27pc. This group normally impacts primarily on short-term absence.'

The report says salary paid during sickness cost the council �468,210.

But it adds: 'These are the visible costs, the invisible costs are likely to be significantly higher including in some cases the cost of temporary cover and overtime.'

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