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Sickness culture

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henton49er

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When I worked (in the private sector) we had a thorough analysis of sickness patterns. Anyone who took more than two Mondays (hangover days) or Fridays (going away for the weekend days) off had an interview with the Personnel Department - mainly to let them know that their attendance was being monitored.

Having said that, I once had to have nine weeks off in some considerable discomfort from shingles and there was no problem whatever, in fact my firm were very supportive.

For public sector workers to even suggest that two weeks sickness is seen as "an entitlement" and "an addition to annual leave" is frightening.

Why can they not reward those who take less than, say, three sickness days in any twelve month period, rather than castigate those who take much greater than average?

Mike
 

wobblycogs

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I once read another article on sick leave. It stated that roughly 40% of the days people took off sick extended the weekend implying people were swinging the lead. After a quick double take I realized that's exactly what you would expect if the days taken as sick were randomly spread which is probably what you would expect from genuine illness which could strike at any time.
 

Sawyer

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henton49er":2fy2quct said:
Why can they not reward those who take less than, say, three sickness days in any twelve month period, rather than castigate those who take much greater than average?

Mike
Sounds like you worked for a good company with a sensible HR department.

The danger with this suggestion is the risk of discrimination; notably against disabled people, many of whom are ill more often, through no fault of their own. Pregnant women would be another case in point.

High absence rates can suggest systemic problems, eg; if staff are placed under particularly high levels of stress.

No axe to grind here - I reckon I've had 1 day sick in the past 5 years: had the fortune to enjoy good health, but I accept that many people are not so lucky.
 

DIY Stew

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flanajb":15nrpm46 said:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15594274

What is scarey are some of the comments
No, what is scarey is your posts seem to involve things which you know will cause offence to some! It seems to me you are a bit of a dung stirrer.

Stew
:-" :-" :-"
 

misterfish

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The majority of my Civil Service career was providing IT support to personnel departments and welfare officers. We were always very proactive in managing absence - not only watching for regular patterns but also at different sites. Anything over a week was carefully monitored and the welfare staff were always called in at an early stage to check for problems or potential problems. However, the major problem was when senior management and politicians wanted sickness data we would have to provide statistics they could understand. The problem was how this information was then used (especially by politicians) - just shouting about the total number of days without taking account of the data showing 'non-casual' sickness, like in-patient, fractures, longer term medical problems etc. All that ever hit the headlines was a high average number of sickness days per person. It only takes a few people with very long term sickness to significantly increase the average figure.

Misterfish
 

DIY Stew

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misterfish":wmq9ujk3 said:
The majority of my Civil Service career was providing IT support to personnel departments and welfare officers. We were always very proactive in managing absence - not only watching for regular patterns but also at different sites. Anything over a week was carefully monitored and the welfare staff were always called in at an early stage to check for problems or potential problems. However, the major problem was when senior management and politicians wanted sickness data we would have to provide statistics they could understand. The problem was how this information was then used (especially by politicians) - just shouting about the total number of days without taking account of the data showing 'non-casual' sickness, like in-patient, fractures, longer term medical problems etc. All that ever hit the headlines was a high average number of sickness days per person. It only takes a few people with very long term sickness to significantly increase the average figure.

Misterfish
Misterfish

I was on 'long term sick' with a back problem, so sickness levels on my watch (I was a fireman) went off the map, the fire brigade policy is now not to pension people out but find them alternative employment, they paid me for 7 months before I returned on a light duty system working 3 hours/day, 3 days/week, this went on for months until I had my first spinal operation. I have several problems with my lower back so eventually I was pensioned out of the service. Its nice to hear from someone who can present the other side of the story.

Stew
 

flanajb

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DIY Stew":3s24vbym said:
flanajb":3s24vbym said:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15594274

What is scarey are some of the comments
No, what is scarey is your posts seem to involve things which you know will cause offence to some! It seems to me you are a bit of a pineapple stirrer.

Stew
:-" :-" :-"
Confused as to why that should cause offence. If you don't like discussing topical issues, then look away.

The work culture in this country has become one of lazy individuals who expect their companies / tax payer to fund them when they are ill or have not saved for a rainy day. Occupations like you suggest Fireman, are different, and if you hurt yourself during the course of your work then fair play, but otherwise, no they should not have to foot the bill.

Look at how many lardy fat sprouts you see in the supermarket buying junk food for them and their poor kids. Most of them have never done a minutes exercise. But no worries, the NHS will foot the bill.

Let's be honest, this country is screwed, China and India will dominate in 10/20 years time and the UK willl represent a 3rd world nation. This is because a) we have no resources b) we don't make anything c) too many people expect the state to provide for them (sickness, pension, welfare ...). China has none of this and people make their own provisions for a rainy day.

I would use my Aussie visa that was granted last year, but they too have got rampant inflation, and unless you are in a mining profession you will struggle to make ends meet.
 

blurk99

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I've worked with a person who would see her '2 weeks' acceptable illness as an extra bout of annual leave, the last 2 weeks of march she'd phone in sick... i currently work with a person who will phone in sick after the first weekend following payday, done it for the last 16 months without fail

we're currently looking at implementing the 'Bradford Scoring' system for sickness, penalises multiple short absences...

BMW Oxford now have a policy of not paying sickness pay for the first 2 days, you have to apply to the DWP for you statutory sick pay yourself (perfectly legal apparently for the employer to say that...) and their incidence of 'duvet days' has dropped by 80%

jim
 

kingcod

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flanajb":11eao70u said:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15594274
Interesting. I don't think Richard Moss completed his homework on this article. He says "According to the CBI, the equivalent sickness rate in the private sector was 6.5 days per employee" ...

and yet this figure is an average across all businesses from one man bands to multinationals. The CBI's report actually says "Organisations with over 5000 employees had the highest rates of absence , with an average of 8.2 days per employee" ... which is precisely the employment band size of most of the local authorities listed in the BBC article.

So really, there seems to be no discernible difference between sickness rates for similar sized organisations in the public or private sector.

Not that makes it any more palatable!
 

Digit

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I worked with a young chap who regularly turned in for 4 days a week. Eventually the MD asked him why.
"'Cos I can't survive on three days!" was the unexpected reply.

Roy.
 
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