18,000 sick days in the Public Service in 2017

A report by the Office of the Auditor General has found that absenteeism in the public service has increased.

The report, on Absenteeism in Montserrat’s Public Sector: Prevalence, Causes, & Costs says that Non-vacation absences exceeded 18,000 days in year 2017, an increase of 25% since the year 2015.

 This was an average of 18 days per employee, plus the average vacation-leave of 21 days per year.

The report also found that Sickness-absences averaged 9 days per employee.

Owing to some very long cases, 74% of sickness-days were medically certified; however, 69% of sickness-claims were uncertified leave.

Most Departments sent the required Absence-Monitoring Reports to the H.R. Management Unit monthly, however, the HRMU had no central and integrated Human Resources Information System to process and to report the data.

 The leading causes of dissatisfaction among surveyed employees were low compensation,  several years without increases or promotions, and physical conditions in their workplaces.

 Absences and vacancies create stress and overtime for co-workers, and delays in public services.

 The public sector represents over 75% of gross domestic product (GDP) and over 65% of national employment, with roughly 1,000 posts in the central Government alone.

As the primary source of income, spending, and investment, the Government’s delivery of public services affects the entire society.