Westminster City Council sees the management of sickness absence as a key business driver and keeps a close eye on its strategy to ensure it is as effective as possible.
Involvement of line managers was identified as key. The council decided that sickness absence management information should be provided to line managers daily and the managers trained to interpret the data and respond to sickness issues effectively, through departmental champions who have been charged with communicating the sickness absence management strategy.
It was also suggested that regular updates on corporate performance should be made available to senior management.
Trevor Webster, strategic HR manager at Westminster City Council, says an excellent return on investment around such initiatives is achievable. “These proposals were endorsed and supported by the chief officers and resulted, after the first 12 months of operation, in a reduction in the sickness absence rate of over two days per employee per year on average, and a saving of more than £800,000.”