Sickness levels fall at CCH

Staff at Chorley Community Housing are a healthy bunch.

New figures show that days lost to staff sickness at the Chorley-based housing association are less than half the national average - and the figure is falling.

CCH staff took fewer than four days off each last year due to sickness, half the national average for all employers, and two thirds below that for housing associations.

Some staff came in to work when they might have been off long term, including one who had a broken leg but arranged a lift to the office when he couldn't drive.

CCH Director of Operations Richard Houghton said: "Days lost to staff sickness at CCH last year was below the national average, with staff off for 3.62 days compared with 7.4 days for employees in all sectors. This year it's projected to fall again to two days per employee."

CCH puts the performance down to a range of factors. The company has a flexible working hours policy but also a detailed sickness policy that aims to tackle absence fairly and sensitively.

Mr Houghton said: "When someone returns from sick leave they are interviewed by their manager so we can understand why they've been off and whether we need to do anything to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We also give staff who take no time off one year an extra day's holiday the next. That's been really popular as staff feel dragging themselves in to work when they might not feel 100% is being properly recognised."

* christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk