Council halves national sickness rate
Official figures have revealed that West Oxfordshire has the second-best performance record for staff sickness days out of all 238 District Councils in England.
Audit Commission figures show that West Oxfordshire District Council staff each took an average 4.89 sick days during 2005/6 - almost half the national average of 9.64 days for District Councils.
The figures relate to the number of days taken as sick leave by 327 permanent staff employed by the Council between October 2005 and September last year.
West Oxfordshire District Council comes second only to South Shropshire District Council and is shown as the best-performing District Council in Oxfordshire (see notes to editors below and attached table for details). Erewash Borough Council, in Derbyshire, is shown as having the highest average number of sick days for District Councils, at 16.83.
Chief Executive David Neudegg said there were a number of factors that had helped West Oxfordshire District Council achieve low sickness levels, including high staff morale, supportive managers and an attractive working environment for all staff.
He said: "I am extremely proud that West Oxfordshire District Council has been identified by the Audit Commission as the second-best performing District Council. To have among the lowest sickness levels of all 238 District Councils in England is a great achievement. However, we are not complacent and recognise that we, like other local authorities and employers, still have work to do to.
"We have a very good Human Resources infrastructure in place and a robust sickness and attendance policy which we will continue to develop, and I hope that this will help to keep a happy working environment in the future."
Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of the Council, said: "The Audit Commission figures show the dedication of staff here at West Oxfordshire District Council and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts.
"Members will continue to monitor and shape the policy that affects staff and also work side-by-side with them to continue delivering high-quality services to the community, while ensuring the Council is a welcoming place to work."
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