Plaid Cymru group leader Colin Mann has expressed concern about a rise in staff sickness at Caerphilly Council due to stress and mental health-related issues.
It follows a Freedom of Information request by Plaid Cymru which revealed that while overall employee sickness fell in 2020-21 the number of days lost because of stress depression, anxiety, mental health and fatigue had rocketed by almost 20%
In 2019-20 the number of days lost was 20,508.19 but by 2020-21 this had jumped to 24,410.36. The council’s headcount had also fallen over the same period from 8,533 to 8,296.
Councillor Colin Mann said that he would be seeking information from the authority about the increase in stress-related illness among employees.
He said: “I’d like to know what the reasons behind such a big increase in stress-related sickness. What, for instance, has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on such illness. It has been very tough for everyone but I would expect the lockdowns and restrictions have had a significant impact on our staff who have been working throughout on the frontline.
“Councillors need to be made aware of what measures the authority is putting in place to try and tackle this issue and help those suffering, for instance, from anxiety and mental health issues.
“As we move out of the pandemic, it is important that we have a workforce that is both well physically and mentally,” added Councillor Colin Mann.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION RESPONSE
What was the council’s total workforce at the end of the following financial years - 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21?
2018/19 - 8533 Headcount
2019/20 - 8402 Headcount
2020/21 - 8296 Headcount
How many days were lost per employee due to sickness in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21?
2018/19 - 11.3 sickness days lost per FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
2019/20 - 11.2 sickness days lost per FTE
2020/21 - 10.0 sickness days lost per FTE
If available, and within costs what was the total number of days lost to stress related health issues in the above years?
Stress; depression; anxiety; neurasthenia; mental health; fatigue including work related stress:
2018/19 - 20508.19 FTE Days
2019/20 - 23088.12 FTE Days
2020/21 - 24420.36 FTE Days
What was the percentage sickness rate in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21?
2018/19 - 4.38%
2019/20 - 4.63%
2020/21 - 4.03%