The Provincial Department of Local Government wasted 23 years in staff sick days during the 2010/11 financial year.
In response to a parliamentary question I asked in this regard we were informed that 5 484 lost days for sick leave at a cost of R4,5 million was incurred by the department.
This must beg the question if employees are not taking unnecessary sick leave as an employment perk!
Of further concern is that 576 employees or 37% of the staff complement of the department took sick leave in that year.
Clearly there are serious underlying domestic and social causes to this, of which stress, as stated in the reply, plays a big role.
If one estimates that the average employee works a 22 day month for 11 months of a calendar year, then this equates to a loss of 23 years working days in a single year.
This state of affairs is unacceptable.
I will be requesting at portfolio committee level that sick leave statistics are reported so as to monitor such behaviour.
Furthermore, I will be requesting that the portfolio committee ask the department to explain in a report what sick leave, wellness and stress relief measures are in place to assist staff in the department to mitigate against such high incidents of sick leave.
It would appear that whatever aids are in place to assist staff with stress and other related conditions need to be beefed up.
The Democratic Alliances believes that a holistic approach to wellness and sick management needs to become a priority of all employees of every provincial department to ensure that our valued employees can feel well and work effectively in a healthy environment.
For the reply to my question, click here: