CPS defends its poor staff sickness absence recordOn 5 Aug 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. TheCrown Prosecution Service (CPS) has defended the sickness absence record of itsstaff, after it was heavily criticised by unions and an MP.TheCPS, which employs around 7,000 staff, came under fire last week after it wasrevealed that more than 679 of its employees were absent from work withlong-term sickness in 2002.However,the CPS’s HR director Angela O’Connor said the figure represented a reductionon previous years and was broadly in line with elsewhere in government.Figuresshow that around 9.7 per cent of CPS employees had been on long-term sick leavein 2002, defined as 20 days or more away from work. But this figure masks adecrease in long-term absence compared to the previous two years, when thefigures were 10.1 per cent and 10.2.”Oursickness absence figures are a cause for concern, but they are similar to othergovernment departments and the trend for long-term absence shows a steadydecrease,” said O’Connor.Shesaid a range of initiatives introduced over the past three years had helped toreduce the figures. These include the creation of an in-house team looking atstress awareness, more training literature for staff and managers, and a24-hour staff assistance helpline.”Wewant to see a significant reduction in these figures in the long term. We’vebeen managing sickness absence in line with government guidelines and this hasshown a reduction,” she added.TheCPS has already launched an investigation to identify areas of concern and theresults will be used to monitor the cause, duration and geography of illnesswithin the service.Oncethe information has been gathered it will be fed into a sickness absencemanagement project to help identify areas for further action and improvedtraining for line managers.ByRoss Wigham Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.