Portsmouth council hit by Covid sick days last year

COVID-19 accounted for the third highest amount of staff sickness at Portsmouth City Council last year.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 5:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 1:43 pm

Authority workers took a total of 2,436 sick days due to coronavirus between February 2020 and January 2021, new figures have shown, with those working in adult social care hardest hit.

According to the latest annual sickness report from the council 35,657 working days were lost in that time across its in-house and agency staff due to illnesses.

However, psychological issues - such as stress and depression - remained the highest cause of sick days at the council overall - amounting to 8,831 days, or 24.7 per cent.

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Director of corporate services at the council, Natasha Edmunds, said this was expected to rise in the wake of the pandemic.

Speaking at a virtual employment committee meeting this week she said: 'It continues to be the highest cause of absence, and as we have had a pandemic over the past year it is not surprising. We are expecting it to increase, however, in view of the pandemic.

'A lot of that (coronavirus sick days) was taking place in adult social care on the frontline supporting our response.'

Due to the pandemic any council staff that were able to work from home are continuing to do so.

She added: 'There's a correlation between increased amount of working from home and low absence levels, particularly short term absences.

‘That's something officers are looking at in terms of the working process and how we made better use of flexibility.'

The second highest cause of sick days at the council last year was muscoskeletal with 2,784 working days lost.

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