Issue - meetings

Response of the Executive Director to Scrutiny review – Absence Management

Meeting: 30/01/2020 - Cabinet (Item 89)

89 Response of the Executive Director to Scrutiny Review – Absence Management pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).



Members considered a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services, which asked Cabinet to consider a suggested response to the recommendations submitted to Cabinet by the Scrutiny Management Board Task and Finish Group.


Firstly, the Cabinet Member placed on record her thanks on behalf of Cabinet for the time invested by members and officers that led to the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group Workshop and the resultant recommendations outlined in the report presented by Councillor Wearing today.


The reasons and issues that related to staff absence in a large and complex organisation such as Cumbria County Council were significant - with many factors involved. Scrutiny Members had invested time to thoroughly research these issues, analyse absence data and trends, interview officers and research what other organisations were doing well.


Attendance and wellbeing remained key Council priorities identified in the Council Plan and Workforce Plan – both important commitments to ensure that the Council maximised the capacity available to deliver the best possible services to the community and also to ensure the Council supported the workforce to remain safe, healthy and resilient.


In supporting that the recommendations made by Scrutiny be approved, the Cabinet Member acknowledged that the issue of absence management had been a challenge for the County Council for a number of years.


Whilst significant work had already been implemented through a detailed Corporate Absence Action Plan, performance remained off target and as such these recommendations from Scrutiny Members were welcomed and would aim to contribute to an improved performance.


RESOLVED, that Cabinet


(1)        Notes the report and agrees that all five recommendations made by Scrutiny Members are supported subject to an assessment and prioritisation of resources;


(2)        Request that officers progress the recommendations as part of the wider Corporate Absence Management Action Plan.