Most common reasons for employee absence at Warrington Council named

Warrington Borough Council has lost thousands of hours of work over the last year as a result of its staff taking time off for stress and depression, reports

A Freedom of Information request from the publication highlights that staff took off 14,193 days for stress or depression-related reasons last year.

The news site said the number of mental health cases has risen every year from 2008 up to 2012, leading to a total loss of 270,000 days for all forms of employee sickness over the five year period.

Staff absence at the council hit a peak in 2009/10 when 56,477 days were lost as a result of sickness and ill health, with conditions ranging from skin problems to gall bladder issues.

In light of the findings, the council has been quick to point out that its "absence management action plan" has helped reduce the figure down to 52,773 for last year.

However, given that thousands of days are still being lost to stress and depression every year, the council should still see the benefit in offering counselling courses to their employees to improve their wellbeing.

Cited by, a spokesman from Warrington Borough Council commented: "We continue to work very closely with our trade union colleagues on this issue and we are confident we will continue to make progress.

"Our latest action plan, launched in March, has resulted in a demonstrably lower level of absence over the last couple of months and we expect this trend to continue."