Fall in police sickness hours

SUFFOLK: Sickness has resulted in Suffolk police losing more than 250,000 working hours in the last three years, it has emerged.

The figures, released in response to a parliamentary question, have revealed that in 2007/8 the number of hours lost by police staff and officers totalled 170,635.

With no figures available for the following year, the number of hours lost in 2009/10 dropped to 98,243.

In 2007/8, the average number of hours lost per officer equalled 76 and last year that number fell to 47 hours.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said no specific measures, the introduction of the flu jab for example, have been taken that can account for the drop.

He said: “There have not been any policies introduced by Suffolk police that can explain this drop in levels of sickness, however we have become much more efficient in the way in which it is dealt with.

“A new self-service system was implemented in April 2009 when, among other things, a Sickness Hotline was set up.

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“If an officer or member of staff is unfit for work or they need to leave work due to sickness, they can now call the line, which is monitored 24 hours a day, and have the sickness logged directly onto the HR system.

“The system will then automatically e-mail their supervisor and the Resource Management Unit, giving them more time to make any changes to duties or work planned.”

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