Well done to Sandy Brownlee of Gattonside for bringing to our attention the worrying figure of 1,395,190 hours lost to sickness by SBC employees during the past four years.
An investigation is long overdue and the causes of this absenteeism must be addressed by line managers in the departments concerned.
At the same time might there also be a freedom of information request made to ascertain how many unpaid hours of work are carried out by those SBC staff who are not salaried, but paid on an hourly scale, mostly part-time, who through council restructuring have found themselves with an unbearable workload which cannot be completed within the allocated (i.e. paid) work frame.
It would seem that Nicholas Watson of the Borders Party has hit the nail on the head with his comment: “Going off sick is often a sign that something isn’t right at work and something needs sorting out.”
Possibly many of the council’s absentees are away from their desks due to stress – or had they simply completed their week’s paid hours by Thursday and felt justified in claiming a “sickie” on Friday?
The outcome of the inquiry should be illuminating for all.