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According to a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development the public sector average sickness absence levels are 9.1 days per employee. In local government the figure reach 9.6 days.

However Wandsworth Council reports that their average is 5.5 days a year. This is down from 7.7 days in 2008/09. Rather extraordinarily, it is even below the private sector average of 5.9 days.

The Wandsworth council leader Cllr Ravi Govindia says:

"Staff who work in Wandsworth town hall deserve great credit for their continuing efforts to minimise sickness absence.

"To be so far ahead of other public sector organisations and to be also beating the private sector is a great achievement and one for which they should be rightly proud.

"My experience of staff in Wandsworth is that they have a strong commitment to provide the best quality service they can to the people of this borough. They will invariably always go the extra mile to make sure they meet residents' expectations.

"In these difficult economic times it is it is important that we all do as much as we can to carry on delivering efficient, responsive and value-for-money services for our residents. The fact that our staff are so productive and industrious is one of the reasons why Wandsworth's council tax bills remain the lowest in the country."

By the way, the CIPD survey suggests that there is some slight progress in the public sector generally.

It says:

The average level of absence remains highest in the public sector at 9.1 days per employee per year, a decrease of 0.5 day from 2010.

Public sector organisations were "most likely" to have brought in some method of managing absence over the past year. The cost of absence is calculated at £800 per public sector employee. There are six million of them. So that is £4.8 billion – a saving of £240 million on the level under Labour. If there can be continued improvements each year that will be a welcome sign that management is being tightened up.

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