The true cost of stress - Dorset's public services losing thousands of working days and millions of pounds

Bournemouth Echo: Public services are paying the price for employees' stress Public services are paying the price for employees' stress

STRESS is costing the county’s public services tens of thousands of lost working days and millions of pounds, according to shock figures.

The amount of sick time taken by those working in Dorset’s councils, police and fire services can be revealed by the Echo today.

Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner and campaigners are concerned over the numbers.

Figures obtained by the Echo show that Dorset Police have lost 11,980 working days to stress since 2008.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service lost 2,143 days between 2011 and October 2013.

Dorset County Council lost 9,712 days between 2011 and June last year.

And the West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council authorities have lost more than 1,885 working days since April 2012.

The organisations say it is not possible to calculate exactly how much illness equates to in monetary terms because of the huge difference in pay scales between those at the lower end of the ladder and those at the top.

But if the figures were calculated using the average wage in Dorset, which was £24,927 in 2012, the overall cost to public services would be almost £3million.

PCC Martyn Underhill said figures would be high across all public services for a number of reasons, such as stress due to cutbacks.

He said levels of sickness within Dorset Police have gone up in the last two years and it is something he is keen to change. He said there is a project being undertaken by human resources at the moment to try and address the issue.

He added: “This is a tough time – people are worried about their jobs.

“Certainly the police service has undergone a massive change – officers feel they’re being attacked on all sides. It’s worrying.”

He said that the issue comes under the remit of the Chief Constable but reducing levels of sickness is something he is keen to achieve. The figures are recorded differently by each authority, with Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset District stressing that their combined number is for ‘all absences under the category of ‘mind, psychological, stress, and depression’ and not just those related to stress.

Director of resources Jason Vaughan said: “The figures for staff sickness absence are broadly in line with other councils but we are working hard on trying to reduce these.

“As a responsible employer the Shared Services Partnership has appropriate support for staff who are feeling stressed at work.”

Dorset County Council’s figures include employees taking time off because of work-related and non-work related stress.

It has an ‘Employee Wellbeing Strategy’ which includes counselling and support to try and reduce sick days caused by stress.

Helping employees could save firms money

A mental health charity says more needs to be done to help employees before their problem gets worse, saving ‘huge amounts of money in the long run’.

Emma Mamo, policy and campaigns manager at Mind, said: “We know that people who work within public services have demanding roles, so it’s vital that measures are in place to support them through difficult times, particularly in the current economic climate when many people are concerned about funding cuts, redundancies and increased workloads.

“Presenteeism – employees coming to work when they’re not very well and then not performing at their best – from mental ill health alone, costs the UK economy £15.1billion a year, more than absenteeism.

“Most jobs have an element of pressure, but when this stress is persistent it can negatively impact both physical and mental health, which is costly to businesses.

“That’s why it’s in the interests of all employers to invest in the mental wellbeing of all staff before things get worse.

“Small, inexpensive measures can make a big difference to staff mental health and save organisations a huge amount of money in the long run.”

Council has employee wellbeing strategy

A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “The council’s employee wellbeing strategy describes how we aim to create a working environment that promotes health and wellbeing for the mutual benefit of the organisation and its employees.

“This is echoed in the council’s recently revised stress management policy which states the organisation’s commitment to reducing the incidence and impact of work related stress within the county council and providing an appropriate level of support to employees.

The support available to individual employees includes: Counselling Support from a specially trained colleague Access to occupational health services Signposting to specialist debt, drug and alcohol counselling and support The stress management procedure includes the use of a stress risk assessment tool developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to identify causes of work-related stress and inform appropriate action to manage these.”

Sick days are recorded differently

A spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said it had a different method of recording sick days.

For example, a retained firefighter is ‘on call’ all week but may only be due to work two hours. However, if they are sick for the seven days of a week, then that is recorded – rather than just the two-hour period they were due to work.

The spokesman added: “This distorts the figure from what you would expect to see from a normal office-based, 9am to 5pm role.”

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “The regular and reliable attendance of all staff at work is fundamental to the ability of Dorset Police to effectively deliver policing to the people of Dorset.

“In common with national trends Dorset Police is experiencing higher levels of sickness absence than in previous years. Of course, the wellbeing of our staff is immensely important as are appropriate methods of managing sickness absence.

“Dorset Police is reviewing its procedures and one of the changes made is the reduction of the Bradford Factor trigger level for management support.

“The Bradford Factor can provide a useful indicator that a pattern of absence needs further investigation in order to identify any possible underlying cause.”

Robert Oxley, campaign director for the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Some time off due to illness is unavoidable but the public sector should aim to reduce the levels to those commonly found in private sector – there’s no reason why there should be any difference between the two.

“Excessive time off costs taxpayers a small fortune and requires staff to cover those not at their posts.”

The true cost of stress

There are 104 weekend days in a year, 28 days’ paid holiday for the average worker and eight bank holidays.

So the average worker is getting paid for 261 days a year including their holiday allowance and bank holidays.

The South West Observatory calculates that the average wage in Dorset for 2012 was £24,972 This, divided by 261 is £95.67 a day. This average daily wage of £95.67 multiplied by 30,000 sick days equals £2,870,100 However, the average Dorset wage has risen by around 6.6 per cent since 2010 meaning the cost for sick days due to stress in 2008, 2009 and 2010 may be less.

The figures go up to October last year so there may have been more sick days due to stress taken since this time.

Comments (31)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:35pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Richard45 says...

Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.
Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,. Richard45
  • Score: -6

12:41pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Richard45 says...

Early retirement (through ill health) that is
Early retirement (through ill health) that is Richard45
  • Score: 2

1:04pm Wed 5 Mar 14

High Treason says...

Fireman....stress...
..maybe because they are finding to hard to cope with their second jobs.
Fireman....stress... ..maybe because they are finding to hard to cope with their second jobs. High Treason
  • Score: 19

1:26pm Wed 5 Mar 14

H2o-hara says...

Too much red tape and bureaucracy doesn't help .
Too much red tape and bureaucracy doesn't help . H2o-hara
  • Score: 5

1:31pm Wed 5 Mar 14

muscliffman says...

There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it!
There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it! muscliffman
  • Score: 32

2:22pm Wed 5 Mar 14

speedy231278 says...

Surely if they're serial absentees, they need to sorted out or sacked? I'd gladly love the 'stress' of a highly paid, made-up job at the council with cast iron benefits and fat pension pot. Yes, Police, fire and ambulance services have stressful jobs, but people who work for the council? Loads of them now get paid to wander about as 'Town Rangers' doing nothing constructive!
Surely if they're serial absentees, they need to sorted out or sacked? I'd gladly love the 'stress' of a highly paid, made-up job at the council with cast iron benefits and fat pension pot. Yes, Police, fire and ambulance services have stressful jobs, but people who work for the council? Loads of them now get paid to wander about as 'Town Rangers' doing nothing constructive! speedy231278
  • Score: 14

2:43pm Wed 5 Mar 14

sea poole says...

muscliffman -Thanks! Just collected my winnings from the bookie -bet you'd be in the top 5 quick respondents to any article about public services. You never let us down! God knows what you do when there's nothing in the Echo re public services -lie down in a darkened room?
muscliffman -Thanks! Just collected my winnings from the bookie -bet you'd be in the top 5 quick respondents to any article about public services. You never let us down! God knows what you do when there's nothing in the Echo re public services -lie down in a darkened room? sea poole
  • Score: -16

3:30pm Wed 5 Mar 14

justsayithowitis says...

Cutbacks are happening everywhere. Only in public services do the staff go sick at the drop of a hat
Cutbacks are happening everywhere. Only in public services do the staff go sick at the drop of a hat justsayithowitis
  • Score: 14

3:38pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Ophilum says...

This so called stress is self made by being to clever by half things like a wonky road marking is a typical example it is a big scam and should be stamped on, no civil servant should be rewarded with cash like the somerset chief who got 40 odd grand for not doing her job.
This so called stress is self made by being to clever by half things like a wonky road marking is a typical example it is a big scam and should be stamped on, no civil servant should be rewarded with cash like the somerset chief who got 40 odd grand for not doing her job. Ophilum
  • Score: 13

4:19pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Wintonian says...

I wonder how many private sector companies include non-working days in their sickness calculations. At Bournemouth Borough, if someone goes off sick on a Friday and does not return until the Wednesday, that is counted as 5 days sick even though they have only lost 3 days work.
I wonder how many private sector companies include non-working days in their sickness calculations. At Bournemouth Borough, if someone goes off sick on a Friday and does not return until the Wednesday, that is counted as 5 days sick even though they have only lost 3 days work. Wintonian
  • Score: -2

4:51pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Wintonian says...

In any case, the text of the article mentions nothing really specifically about stress, only sickness level. So where has the heading 'stress' come from? Is it just to gain a knee-jerk reaction in the comments?

We are given no idea how the public sector is comprised, compared with private sector firms.

If I break my ankle and work at the Town Hall desk, it will probably only mean a few days off, but if I empty bins it will probably mean more time off.

Obviously there are loads of private sector firms that are mainly office-based, and loads which are very manual labour-based. So where does the local council fit in between these two extremes? I would expect the public sector as a whole to have less sickness on average than a purely desk-based firm, and more than average in a purely labour-based firm.

Without knowing what kind of comparison has been made, we can't really judge whether the figures are good or bad. We

Having said that, you would have thought that if the figures were better than they look because of a poor comparison, the council spokespersons would be quick to point it out.
In any case, the text of the article mentions nothing really specifically about stress, only sickness level. So where has the heading 'stress' come from? Is it just to gain a knee-jerk reaction in the comments? We are given no idea how the public sector is comprised, compared with private sector firms. If I break my ankle and work at the Town Hall desk, it will probably only mean a few days off, but if I empty bins it will probably mean more time off. Obviously there are loads of private sector firms that are mainly office-based, and loads which are very manual labour-based. So where does the local council fit in between these two extremes? I would expect the public sector as a whole to have less sickness on average than a purely desk-based firm, and more than average in a purely labour-based firm. Without knowing what kind of comparison has been made, we can't really judge whether the figures are good or bad. We Having said that, you would have thought that if the figures were better than they look because of a poor comparison, the council spokespersons would be quick to point it out. Wintonian
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Wintonian says...

Wintonian wrote:
In any case, the text of the article mentions nothing really specifically about stress, only sickness level. So where has the heading 'stress' come from? Is it just to gain a knee-jerk reaction in the comments?

We are given no idea how the public sector is comprised, compared with private sector firms.

If I break my ankle and work at the Town Hall desk, it will probably only mean a few days off, but if I empty bins it will probably mean more time off.

Obviously there are loads of private sector firms that are mainly office-based, and loads which are very manual labour-based. So where does the local council fit in between these two extremes? I would expect the public sector as a whole to have less sickness on average than a purely desk-based firm, and more than average in a purely labour-based firm.

Without knowing what kind of comparison has been made, we can't really judge whether the figures are good or bad. We

Having said that, you would have thought that if the figures were better than they look because of a poor comparison, the council spokespersons would be quick to point it out.
I meant "more than an office based firm and less than a labour-based firm", of course!
[quote][p][bold]Wintonian[/bold] wrote: In any case, the text of the article mentions nothing really specifically about stress, only sickness level. So where has the heading 'stress' come from? Is it just to gain a knee-jerk reaction in the comments? We are given no idea how the public sector is comprised, compared with private sector firms. If I break my ankle and work at the Town Hall desk, it will probably only mean a few days off, but if I empty bins it will probably mean more time off. Obviously there are loads of private sector firms that are mainly office-based, and loads which are very manual labour-based. So where does the local council fit in between these two extremes? I would expect the public sector as a whole to have less sickness on average than a purely desk-based firm, and more than average in a purely labour-based firm. Without knowing what kind of comparison has been made, we can't really judge whether the figures are good or bad. We Having said that, you would have thought that if the figures were better than they look because of a poor comparison, the council spokespersons would be quick to point it out.[/p][/quote]I meant "more than an office based firm and less than a labour-based firm", of course! Wintonian
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Wed 5 Mar 14

O'Reilly says...

I don't really want to get into this, but, as the late great Australian cricketer Keith Miller remarked whilst being interviewed about cricketers stress whilst at the crease, the great man replied: "Stress is flying at a 1000ft in a spitfire with a Messersmicht (spelling) up your A.R.S.E.....lovely man.
I don't really want to get into this, but, as the late great Australian cricketer Keith Miller remarked whilst being interviewed about cricketers stress whilst at the crease, the great man replied: "Stress is flying at a 1000ft in a spitfire with a Messersmicht (spelling) up your A.R.S.E.....lovely man. O'Reilly
  • Score: 5

5:45pm Wed 5 Mar 14

cunone says...

Funny old thing stress in the private sector you like or lump it but in the public sector you go sick.
Funny old thing stress in the private sector you like or lump it but in the public sector you go sick. cunone
  • Score: 15

6:29pm Wed 5 Mar 14

cromwell9 says...

Richard45 wrote:
Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.
In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum,
As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second,
The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,.
God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day,
Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time .
ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
[quote][p][bold]Richard45[/bold] wrote: Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.[/p][/quote]In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum, As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second, The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,. God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day, Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time . ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR. cromwell9
  • Score: 11

6:48pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Staynor66 says...

cromwell9 wrote:
Richard45 wrote: Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.
In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum, As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second, The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,. God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day, Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time . ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
Ha the private sector home to the big fat bonus, pub lunches and home at the weekend...........I think thats called generalisation just like you are doing....Ive worked in the public sector for 24 years never had a day off sick
[quote][p][bold]cromwell9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richard45[/bold] wrote: Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.[/p][/quote]In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum, As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second, The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,. God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day, Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time . ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR.[/p][/quote]Ha the private sector home to the big fat bonus, pub lunches and home at the weekend...........I think thats called generalisation just like you are doing....Ive worked in the public sector for 24 years never had a day off sick Staynor66
  • Score: -3

7:30pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Peroni says...

Maybe if they don't pay public sector workers for days off sick so easily,they might stay at work.
But then it's our tax payers money..........so it's ok.
Maybe if they don't pay public sector workers for days off sick so easily,they might stay at work. But then it's our tax payers money..........so it's ok. Peroni
  • Score: 10

7:42pm Wed 5 Mar 14

joeinpoole says...

Funny how much more "stressful" it appears to be working in the public sector than being self-employed!

Must be all that guaranteed monthly salary, nice pension, union back-up ... and of course the sickness benefits.

I really don't know how the poor dears cope with the absolute certainty of knowing exactly how they'll pay the bills now, next month and comfortably into the future.

If I get sick or injured I don't get paid. Simples!
Funny how much more "stressful" it appears to be working in the public sector than being self-employed! Must be all that guaranteed monthly salary, nice pension, union back-up ... and of course the sickness benefits. I really don't know how the poor dears cope with the absolute certainty of knowing exactly how they'll pay the bills now, next month and comfortably into the future. If I get sick or injured I don't get paid. Simples! joeinpoole
  • Score: 8

7:46pm Wed 5 Mar 14

West moors 1 says...

muscliffman wrote:
There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it!
Exactly right. The average public sector worker takes days off work because they can. They see it as part and parcel of their holiday. They have no idea of the real world and no idea of what stress is all about. Talk to the self employed!!!!! Wise up public sector bosses, manage your staff properly.
[quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it![/p][/quote]Exactly right. The average public sector worker takes days off work because they can. They see it as part and parcel of their holiday. They have no idea of the real world and no idea of what stress is all about. Talk to the self employed!!!!! Wise up public sector bosses, manage your staff properly. West moors 1
  • Score: 9

7:52pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Noidear says...

High Treason wrote:
Fireman....stress...

..maybe because they are finding to hard to cope with their second jobs.
What as retained in there lunch breaks
[quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: Fireman....stress... ..maybe because they are finding to hard to cope with their second jobs.[/p][/quote]What as retained in there lunch breaks Noidear
  • Score: 5

8:02pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Noidear says...

High Treason wrote:
Fireman....stress...

..maybe because they are finding to hard to cope with their second jobs.
Wish I'd never read this now , I am so stressed , how much is all these sick days costing me, will have to have a week of now, problem there Iam self employed, and nobody cares about me. Just have get the wife do some more hours.
[quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: Fireman....stress... ..maybe because they are finding to hard to cope with their second jobs.[/p][/quote]Wish I'd never read this now , I am so stressed , how much is all these sick days costing me, will have to have a week of now, problem there Iam self employed, and nobody cares about me. Just have get the wife do some more hours. Noidear
  • Score: 1

8:35pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Hessenford says...

muscliffman wrote:
There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it!
What you seem to forget is all workers in the public sector are subjected to aggressive and violent individuals during their daily routine.
The police suffer this the most, council workers suffer this a fair bit and nursing staff and other NHS workers also suffer attacks from violent patients, drunks and drugged up tosspots, is it any wonder the staff suffer stress related illness.
I cant think of any private sector jobs where staff regularly suffer violent and aggressive behavior.
[quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it![/p][/quote]What you seem to forget is all workers in the public sector are subjected to aggressive and violent individuals during their daily routine. The police suffer this the most, council workers suffer this a fair bit and nursing staff and other NHS workers also suffer attacks from violent patients, drunks and drugged up tosspots, is it any wonder the staff suffer stress related illness. I cant think of any private sector jobs where staff regularly suffer violent and aggressive behavior. Hessenford
  • Score: -4

9:05pm Wed 5 Mar 14

rozmister says...

muscliffman wrote:
There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it!
I'm not sure the majority of self-employed workers are quite as likely to face the traumas the police and fire service do. For instance how many self-employed workers will turn up to a call out and find a badly beaten person or a child burning to death? Not many. I think I'd be stressed if I got up every day and genuinely thought "perhaps today I'll see someone die" .

Many private sector workplaces pay sickness pay to their staff after a certain period with the company and many private sector better paid jobs come with sickness pay as part of the package.
[quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it![/p][/quote]I'm not sure the majority of self-employed workers are quite as likely to face the traumas the police and fire service do. For instance how many self-employed workers will turn up to a call out and find a badly beaten person or a child burning to death? Not many. I think I'd be stressed if I got up every day and genuinely thought "perhaps today I'll see someone die" . Many private sector workplaces pay sickness pay to their staff after a certain period with the company and many private sector better paid jobs come with sickness pay as part of the package. rozmister
  • Score: -5

9:13pm Wed 5 Mar 14

beep-beep says...

Sickness pay in the private sector??? Not in some places I've worked.

It isn't much of a surprise when the UK work the longest hours in Europe that we should have the highest levels of stress and sick days lost....
Sickness pay in the private sector??? Not in some places I've worked. It isn't much of a surprise when the UK work the longest hours in Europe that we should have the highest levels of stress and sick days lost.... beep-beep
  • Score: 7

9:27pm Wed 5 Mar 14

cromwell9 says...

Hessenford wrote:
muscliffman wrote:
There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it!
What you seem to forget is all workers in the public sector are subjected to aggressive and violent individuals during their daily routine.
The police suffer this the most, council workers suffer this a fair bit and nursing staff and other NHS workers also suffer attacks from violent patients, drunks and drugged up tosspots, is it any wonder the staff suffer stress related illness.
I cant think of any private sector jobs where staff regularly suffer violent and aggressive behavior.
Yes you are quite right what you say,
These Public Sector workers ,deserve to be looked after and treated for stress .
But we all know the rest of them would take advantage of a very generouis sick pay sceme ,because they can get away with it knowing they will get paid ,and protected by their Union,
Un like us in the Private Sector who have no Union .
A lot of us dont even recieve sick pay,
The Private Sector is a dog eat dog way of life ,You dont know when you are well off.
[quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it![/p][/quote]What you seem to forget is all workers in the public sector are subjected to aggressive and violent individuals during their daily routine. The police suffer this the most, council workers suffer this a fair bit and nursing staff and other NHS workers also suffer attacks from violent patients, drunks and drugged up tosspots, is it any wonder the staff suffer stress related illness. I cant think of any private sector jobs where staff regularly suffer violent and aggressive behavior.[/p][/quote]Yes you are quite right what you say, These Public Sector workers ,deserve to be looked after and treated for stress . But we all know the rest of them would take advantage of a very generouis sick pay sceme ,because they can get away with it knowing they will get paid ,and protected by their Union, Un like us in the Private Sector who have no Union . A lot of us dont even recieve sick pay, The Private Sector is a dog eat dog way of life ,You dont know when you are well off. cromwell9
  • Score: 7

9:41pm Wed 5 Mar 14

cromwell9 says...

Staynor66 wrote:
cromwell9 wrote:
Richard45 wrote: Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.
In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum, As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second, The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,. God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day, Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time . ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
Ha the private sector home to the big fat bonus, pub lunches and home at the weekend...........I think thats called generalisation just like you are doing....Ive worked in the public sector for 24 years never had a day off sick
Perhaps you have sat on your bum ,with a pen in your left hand,De Stressing
For 24 yrs .
L would love to have your Pention when I retire .
For every £1 you paid in, You take out £4 .And guess what we in the Private SEctor are paying for it ,While we have next to nothing in our pention pot,
Because we are pouring our money into yours,
Did you KNow ,30% of our council tax goes strait into subsidising.The Public Sector Pentions,
I woul like to put that money i am paying you into my own Pention pot ,but by law .I have to give it to you.
SO HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT CHUM.
I KNOW ,YOU DONT CARE,
[quote][p][bold]Staynor66[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cromwell9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richard45[/bold] wrote: Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.[/p][/quote]In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum, As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second, The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,. God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day, Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time . ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR.[/p][/quote]Ha the private sector home to the big fat bonus, pub lunches and home at the weekend...........I think thats called generalisation just like you are doing....Ive worked in the public sector for 24 years never had a day off sick[/p][/quote]Perhaps you have sat on your bum ,with a pen in your left hand,De Stressing For 24 yrs . L would love to have your Pention when I retire . For every £1 you paid in, You take out £4 .And guess what we in the Private SEctor are paying for it ,While we have next to nothing in our pention pot, Because we are pouring our money into yours, Did you KNow ,30% of our council tax goes strait into subsidising.The Public Sector Pentions, I woul like to put that money i am paying you into my own Pention pot ,but by law .I have to give it to you. SO HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT CHUM. I KNOW ,YOU DONT CARE, cromwell9
  • Score: 4

10:45pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Hessenford says...

cromwell9 wrote:
Hessenford wrote:
muscliffman wrote:
There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it!
What you seem to forget is all workers in the public sector are subjected to aggressive and violent individuals during their daily routine.
The police suffer this the most, council workers suffer this a fair bit and nursing staff and other NHS workers also suffer attacks from violent patients, drunks and drugged up tosspots, is it any wonder the staff suffer stress related illness.
I cant think of any private sector jobs where staff regularly suffer violent and aggressive behavior.
Yes you are quite right what you say,
These Public Sector workers ,deserve to be looked after and treated for stress .
But we all know the rest of them would take advantage of a very generouis sick pay sceme ,because they can get away with it knowing they will get paid ,and protected by their Union,
Un like us in the Private Sector who have no Union .
A lot of us dont even recieve sick pay,
The Private Sector is a dog eat dog way of life ,You dont know when you are well off.
Why do you infer that I work in public service when I don't, but I know a few people who do, everyone seems to think that public sector workers are well off, well the reverse is more truthful.
The pen pushers of the NHS, council and police force are the high earners and don't suffer the attacks day in and day out.
I know two Health car assistants who earn less than £16,000 per year for working 12 hour shifts an suffer violence and aggression almost every day, after around 6 days sick per year they have to face meetings with management and human resources and could face disciplinary action so its not all a bed of roses, don't believe every thing you read in the local rag, there are two tiers of worker in the public sector, the worker and the management, the management are the ones that get the gold plated pensions and high pay so lets not tar everyone with the same brush.
[quote][p][bold]cromwell9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: There may be a very simple way to ease this stress and sickness problem for employees in the public sector. Just change the terms of their very generous (often full salary) sickness payments to more closely mirror those available to staff in the private sector. Because interestingly in that sector where workplace absence payments are far less generous (may well start at nothing and then only rise to SSP) staff appear to be far more healthy, much less stressed and far less likely to take a sickie - indeed the self employed are widely said to NEVER take a day off sick. It's not difficult to see what is really going on - and of course as usual WE are paying for it![/p][/quote]What you seem to forget is all workers in the public sector are subjected to aggressive and violent individuals during their daily routine. The police suffer this the most, council workers suffer this a fair bit and nursing staff and other NHS workers also suffer attacks from violent patients, drunks and drugged up tosspots, is it any wonder the staff suffer stress related illness. I cant think of any private sector jobs where staff regularly suffer violent and aggressive behavior.[/p][/quote]Yes you are quite right what you say, These Public Sector workers ,deserve to be looked after and treated for stress . But we all know the rest of them would take advantage of a very generouis sick pay sceme ,because they can get away with it knowing they will get paid ,and protected by their Union, Un like us in the Private Sector who have no Union . A lot of us dont even recieve sick pay, The Private Sector is a dog eat dog way of life ,You dont know when you are well off.[/p][/quote]Why do you infer that I work in public service when I don't, but I know a few people who do, everyone seems to think that public sector workers are well off, well the reverse is more truthful. The pen pushers of the NHS, council and police force are the high earners and don't suffer the attacks day in and day out. I know two Health car assistants who earn less than £16,000 per year for working 12 hour shifts an suffer violence and aggression almost every day, after around 6 days sick per year they have to face meetings with management and human resources and could face disciplinary action so its not all a bed of roses, don't believe every thing you read in the local rag, there are two tiers of worker in the public sector, the worker and the management, the management are the ones that get the gold plated pensions and high pay so lets not tar everyone with the same brush. Hessenford
  • Score: 0

3:43am Thu 6 Mar 14

Abc1970 says...

Having read these comments there are a lot of negative public sector comments so let's try and put this in perspective.
1) you chose your job, if you chose private sector you know what you are getting into, if you chose to be self employed, you know the risks and again what you are getting into and if you chose public sector, you expect the sick pay and pension etc etc.
2) private sector workers are jealous of public sector workers,having worked in both I can see benefits of both. Salaries and bonuses etc are far better in private sector, but benefits are better public sector.
3) if we didn't have public sector workers we would have nobody to teach our children, nobody to look after us when we are ill, nobody to empty our bins, nobody to put out fires, nobody to maintain our outside spaces (beaches, parks etc)
4) in total agreement of one of the comments regarding police fire and ambulance staff having to face real trauma on a daily basis, people's lives literally in their hands and also agree that assaults are rising on public sector workers and NHS staff etc.
5) despite what many people obviously think, public sector workers also have to pay tax, yes that's right AND national insurance which goes towards the pension pots of the nation, they also have to pay mortgages, child care, fuel for the house and car so really are no different to anybody else
6) many public sector workers (and I fully appreciate that this is not all) have given their working lives for the benefit of others, nurses, teachers, police officers, paramedics, firemen etc so why shouldn't the the population (including tax paying public sector workers remember) contribute towards their retirements as without them your lives would have been very different.
Having read these comments there are a lot of negative public sector comments so let's try and put this in perspective. 1) you chose your job, if you chose private sector you know what you are getting into, if you chose to be self employed, you know the risks and again what you are getting into and if you chose public sector, you expect the sick pay and pension etc etc. 2) private sector workers are jealous of public sector workers,having worked in both I can see benefits of both. Salaries and bonuses etc are far better in private sector, but benefits are better public sector. 3) if we didn't have public sector workers we would have nobody to teach our children, nobody to look after us when we are ill, nobody to empty our bins, nobody to put out fires, nobody to maintain our outside spaces (beaches, parks etc) 4) in total agreement of one of the comments regarding police fire and ambulance staff having to face real trauma on a daily basis, people's lives literally in their hands and also agree that assaults are rising on public sector workers and NHS staff etc. 5) despite what many people obviously think, public sector workers also have to pay tax, yes that's right AND national insurance which goes towards the pension pots of the nation, they also have to pay mortgages, child care, fuel for the house and car so really are no different to anybody else 6) many public sector workers (and I fully appreciate that this is not all) have given their working lives for the benefit of others, nurses, teachers, police officers, paramedics, firemen etc so why shouldn't the the population (including tax paying public sector workers remember) contribute towards their retirements as without them your lives would have been very different. Abc1970
  • Score: 1

3:47am Thu 6 Mar 14

Abc1970 says...

Oh and also, public sector workers have to CONTRIBUTE to their pensions, they are not free of charge, if people opt out of the contributions, they do not get anything when they retire. The contributions are also much higher than they would be in a private pension pot, this is as well and the NI contributions towards state pension.
Oh and also, public sector workers have to CONTRIBUTE to their pensions, they are not free of charge, if people opt out of the contributions, they do not get anything when they retire. The contributions are also much higher than they would be in a private pension pot, this is as well and the NI contributions towards state pension. Abc1970
  • Score: -2

7:51am Thu 6 Mar 14

Baysider says...

Wow! Just wow. The levels of ignorance and spitefulness of some of our fellow posters really has reached new levels hasn't it. The Echo publishes a meaningless, out of context, almost random list of sickness stats and the majority of posters leap on it to trot out all their usual prejudices, hobby horses and made up 'facts'.

The stats don't provide an actual breakdown for stress related illness, that was something the Echo decided to get the likes if Muzzy in a tiss but even if it did do you not think it's slightly more stressful deciding whether to take a child into care, or dealing with a mental health patient, or a drunk housing claimant screaming in your face, or breaking up a late night noisy party, or a parent threatening to smash your face in because you dared to discipline their offspring, or caring for a doubly incontinent 90 year old...I could go on with a 100 other examples but you're not really interested are you?

You much rather pretend that it much more stressful working in a bakers or as an insurance clerk or some other such job in the "real world"...
Wow! Just wow. The levels of ignorance and spitefulness of some of our fellow posters really has reached new levels hasn't it. The Echo publishes a meaningless, out of context, almost random list of sickness stats and the majority of posters leap on it to trot out all their usual prejudices, hobby horses and made up 'facts'. The stats don't provide an actual breakdown for stress related illness, that was something the Echo decided to get the likes if Muzzy in a tiss but even if it did do you not think it's slightly more stressful deciding whether to take a child into care, or dealing with a mental health patient, or a drunk housing claimant screaming in your face, or breaking up a late night noisy party, or a parent threatening to smash your face in because you dared to discipline their offspring, or caring for a doubly incontinent 90 year old...I could go on with a 100 other examples but you're not really interested are you? You much rather pretend that it much more stressful working in a bakers or as an insurance clerk or some other such job in the "real world"... Baysider
  • Score: -4

8:23am Thu 6 Mar 14

Staynor66 says...

cromwell9 wrote:
Staynor66 wrote:
cromwell9 wrote:
Richard45 wrote: Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.
In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum, As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second, The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,. God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day, Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time . ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
Ha the private sector home to the big fat bonus, pub lunches and home at the weekend...........I think thats called generalisation just like you are doing....Ive worked in the public sector for 24 years never had a day off sick
Perhaps you have sat on your bum ,with a pen in your left hand,De Stressing For 24 yrs . L would love to have your Pention when I retire . For every £1 you paid in, You take out £4 .And guess what we in the Private SEctor are paying for it ,While we have next to nothing in our pention pot, Because we are pouring our money into yours, Did you KNow ,30% of our council tax goes strait into subsidising.The Public Sector Pentions, I woul like to put that money i am paying you into my own Pention pot ,but by law .I have to give it to you. SO HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT CHUM. I KNOW ,YOU DONT CARE,
Actually I am right handed, and you couldnt be further away from the truth.

But with your comments I dont think it makes much difference what I say, I sypmathise with private and public sector workers alike and unless you are a big boss with a large bonus then we are all struggling.

If you want a decent pension then pay 13% of your wages into one. Alternatively climb off you big chair and get a job in the public sector if you think its so easy.
[quote][p][bold]cromwell9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Staynor66[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cromwell9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richard45[/bold] wrote: Its not just stess, when you look at the incredibly high absentee rates (versus the privte sector) and alarming rates of early retirement particularly in the police and fire service we are clearly putting two much pressure on the public sector. Must be awful to live under the cloud of possible redundancy,.[/p][/quote]In the Private Sector,You may get 4wks sick pay iff your lucky,And thats it chum, As regards being made redundant,In the Private sector you can be made redundant by TEXT in a second, The mistake I made when I started my working life ,was not getting a job in the Public Sector ,with all the job Security etc .Fought for you by all your UNIONS,. God if I had what you Public Sector Employees have ,I would have a big grin on my face every day, Iff you want Stress .Step up to the big time . ITS CALLED THE PRIVATE SECTOR.[/p][/quote]Ha the private sector home to the big fat bonus, pub lunches and home at the weekend...........I think thats called generalisation just like you are doing....Ive worked in the public sector for 24 years never had a day off sick[/p][/quote]Perhaps you have sat on your bum ,with a pen in your left hand,De Stressing For 24 yrs . L would love to have your Pention when I retire . For every £1 you paid in, You take out £4 .And guess what we in the Private SEctor are paying for it ,While we have next to nothing in our pention pot, Because we are pouring our money into yours, Did you KNow ,30% of our council tax goes strait into subsidising.The Public Sector Pentions, I woul like to put that money i am paying you into my own Pention pot ,but by law .I have to give it to you. SO HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT CHUM. I KNOW ,YOU DONT CARE,[/p][/quote]Actually I am right handed, and you couldnt be further away from the truth. But with your comments I dont think it makes much difference what I say, I sypmathise with private and public sector workers alike and unless you are a big boss with a large bonus then we are all struggling. If you want a decent pension then pay 13% of your wages into one. Alternatively climb off you big chair and get a job in the public sector if you think its so easy. Staynor66
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree