Absenteeism among Fermanagh and Omagh District Council staff rose to almost 12 days per year according to recent figures. The Council released the figures this week, showing an increase of 1.4 days from 11.37 days sickness per employee in 2015-16 to 12.77 days in 2016-17.

The average rate of sickness across the 11 council areas is 15 days with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council second lowest on the list, with Belfast City Council having the fewest days absent among workers.

The level of absenteeism across the 11 council areas is significantly higher than in other areas of employment. The Office of National reported that in 2017 the average number of sick days taken throughout the UK by workers was 4.1 days.

A number of reasons were put forward for the high level of absenteeism at Council level with an increase in long term absence the main factor.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in their ‘Annual Audit Letter’ published on their website this week revealed that they are taking a number of steps aimed at reducing the absence including:

Increased analysis of absence data and absence reporting; The establishment of an Absence Management Working Group to review and analyse absence trends; Increased communication to employees with details of the level of absenteeism and the impact of increased absence; Training for line managers and supervisors on the implementation of wellbeing risk assessments; A relaunch of the Health and Wellbeing Group and the development of a Health and Wellbeing Strategy, along with a commitment to achieve the Mental Health Charter.