West Midlands Police report highest attendance levels for officers in 34 year history

Friday, 24 October, 2008

WEST Midlands Police have reported the highest attendance for police offices since the force was established in 1974.

Latest figures show the force has an attendance rate of 97.74 per cent for police officers over the last 12 months.

Figures for police staff is also at a record high - at 97.29 per cent.

The data shows that the number of days lost for police offices due to sickness was 7.1 days - the lowest rate in the country compared to similar forces.

Figures also show the number of staff retiring through ill-health have continued to fall - down from 12 in 2007/8 to seven to-date this year.

At the same time, more than half of the workforce - over 51 per cent - have qualified for an 'Always There' award, recording no sickness absence during the last 12 months. During the same period, 100 people qualified for a '10 Years Always There' award.

Director of Personnel, David Williams, believes the wide range of support mechanisms put in place by the force have helped to achieve the reduction in absence levels.

"Stress related illness alone is now the most common reason for employees to be absent from work and the Department of Health estimates that such absence costs employers £1.3 billion a year," he said.

"The force is committed to reducing sickness levels and have introduced a wide range of help and support mechanisms including: physiotherapy, occupational health referrals, in-house counselling, education and awareness training, trauma support and the referral to external support where appropriate.

"We believe it is vital to provide a healthy and supportive work environment to attract and retain staff. This is of benefit both to the individuals themselves and the organisation's business needs."

"Organisations are under increasing pressure from financial costs and the impact of long-term sickness absence. Implementing 'best practice' and creating a healthy workplace will minimise costs and reduce sickness absence, thereby increasing efficiency."

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