Manx police sickness absence drops by 16%

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Staff sickness absence in the Isle of Man Constabulary has dropped by 16 per cent, the Chief Constable’s Annual Report shows.

From April 2013 to March 2014, a total of 1,426 working days (2.72 per cent) were lost to sickness absence.

It compares with 1,695.5 days (3.3 per cent) in 2012-13.

Long term sickness amounted to 59 per cent of the overall figure – similar to the previous 12 months.

Only 0.2 per cent of absence was attributable to accidents and assaults on duty, compared with 7.4 per cent in 2012-13.

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK wouldn’t say what the cost of police staff sickness absence was to the taxpayer.

He welcomed the 16 per cent drop, saying: ‘The latest figures are very encouraging and counter the myths and misconceptions that police officers are frequently off sick.

‘In reality, sickness levels across the Constabulary are at a very low level indeed.

‘This is commendable and in practical terms the continued improvement equates to greater efficiencies and cost savings.’

He said the drop was attributable to staff ‘cultures and values’, effectiveness sickness management and through a good relationship with, for example, occupational health.

He added: ‘The 16 per cent decrease achieved in 2013-14 is particularly impressive in that it occurred against a backdrop of reducing police numbers, as the Constabulary continued its reorganisation in line with budget challenges.

In February Chief Minister Allan Bell welcomed a 12 per cent drop in staff sickness absence across government.

Figures showed that 1.43 days were lost per government employee from April to December 2013, compared with 5.03 days for the corresponding period in 2012.

He said it represented an overall cost saving of almost £1 million.

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