Figures reveal work-related stress contributed to over 14 days off sick per employee at one Welsh council
Fatigue, stress and depression are just some of the health issues which led to 25,000 days off at Caerphilly Council according to figures obtained by Plaid Cymru.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) response said that work-related stress contributed to the number of days taken off sick by staff in 2021-22.
This accounted for over 14 days lost per employee at the council.
Councillor Lindsay Whittle, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on the council, said the figures of stress-related health issues were worrying.
“Of course, employees suffering from stress is obviously not unique to Caerphilly Council and I sympathise with everyone who suffers. Life is very tough for so many at present because of the cost-of-living crisis with rocketing food and energy prices (and) I’m aware the council has wellbeing policies in place.”
Mr Whittle added that he’d like to see staff being encouraged to return to the office.
“For three years now home working has existed and I know that there are some employees who feel lonely and don’t feel part of a team any longer. It goes without saying that maximum support of those who suffer from the range of stress issues is vital. Doing so may well bear fruit in the future and lead to a reduction in sickness absences which will obviously benefit the individual and the council,” she said.
Caerphilly County Borough Council said they employ a workforce was 8348. The Council’s Within People Services provides advice and guidance to managers in relation to all aspects of people management.
Areas of support currently in place include a dedicated Managing Attendance Team, an Occupational Health Unit and a confidential counselling service offered via Care First that can be accessed by all employees. An Employee Wellbeing Strategy 2021 – 24 is also now in place.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
The challenge is to distinguish between real stress and fake stress. To some “stress” is the new “bad back”, an opportunity to take a few days off work when other matters need dealing with. Cynical maybe but don’t take everything at face value.