Council has lowest absenteeism in Northern Ireland

Mossley Mill.
Mossley Mill.

Newly released figures from the NI Audit Office show the average number of working days lost by local council employees is the lowest across the country.

The statistics show an average of under 12 days were lost by employees at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for 2017/2018.

This number was down from 2016/17, when an average of over 14 days were lost.

Welcoming the results, a spokesperson for the local authority said: “The council welcomes the recent Audit Report findings on absence and will continue to strive to reduce absence and support our employee’s health and wellbeing.

“The council believes the Audit Offices findings and the recent ‘Highly Commended’ award by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for Health and Wellbeing recognises our flexible approach to supporting people back to work through phased returns, alternative duties, access to counselling services and occupational health professionals.

“The provision of comprehensive preventive proactive health checks also demonstrates our long term commitment to health and wellbeing.”

The average number of days lost through sickness across Northern Ireland’s 11 council areas for the 2017/2018 term is recorded as 14.89 days per person.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council recorded the highest number of days lost in the province.

Auditor Pamela McCreedy said: “The monitoring and management of sickness absence levels continues to very challenging for councils.

“Staff welfare must be protected, along with the efficient and effective delivery of front-line services to the public.”