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Sharp rise in council staff off through stress

 
Created on 11/09/2019 @ 19:49
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Almost 350 staff have been signed off due to stress at Powys County Council this past year.

Figures found by the Conservative Party through Freedom of Information requests throughout Wales reveal that the figures are up by 18 per cent compared to two years ago.

Powys County Council (PCC) comes right in the middle of the 22 local authorities, with an 11.6 per cent increase from 2016/17 to 2018/19.

Out of a staff of over 5,500, 347 have been off with stress this year.

In 2016/17 the numbers were 311 and for 2017/18 the figures dipped down to 286.

Cabinet Member for HR, Councillor James Evans, a Conservative, said: “The county council takes the health and well-being of staff extremely seriously and provides a range of support to mitigate work related stress, which is recognised as the main cause of absence.

“Staff are being put under more and more pressure from the significant funding cuts from the Welsh Liberal/Labour Government.

“The council has provided specific training and counselling support and has a new employee self-referral programme providing telephone, internet or face-to-face support, as well as a number of initiatives on mental health and physical well-being.”

Last week PCC launched ‘Care First’ a confidential, impartial advice and support service which is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year providing practical support for staff.”

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