Dumfries and Galloway Council have increased support for community and customer services staff after noting a “possible” link between work related stress and changes to the service.
A report from the department, which saw major changes over the last two years, noted that “where higher pockets of sickness absence have been reported there is a possible correlation between sickness absence and existing or expected changes to services. This would include the outcome of service reviews, and/or restructures.”
Although work related stress is a factor in less that one per cent of absences and represents 5.5 per cent of lost working time, issues identified included a lack of communication, management changes and difficulty coping with change. Plans to reduce stress include monthly monitoring of staff, the implementation of a staff engagement plan that allows staff to be aware or and contribute to changes in the department and improvements to team working relationships.