Skip to main content

West Midlands Police sees sick days rise ‘due to stress’

By DPF Admin11th December 2015August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

Sick days taken by West Midlands Police officers rose by more than 11,500 in 12 months, with the force's federation blaming increasing stress.

The average officer was off for 10.7 days in 2014-15, up from 8.7 days in 2013-14. PCSOs' average sickness dropped from 9.4 days to nine days.


It meant 77,817 days – equivalent to more than 213 years – were lost to officer sickness and 6,172 among PCSOs.

The force said nearly 40% of its workforce had no absences in 12 months.

Updates on this story and more from Birmingham and the Black Country.

Deputy chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation Tom Cuddeford said losing 2,000 staff since 2010 amid multimillion-pound savings targets had “taken its toll”.

A Freedom of Information Request shows officer numbers fell from 7,619 to 7,294 in 2014-15 as sickness rose, while the number of PCSOs dropped from 697 to 688.

Mr Cuddeford said: “Officers are working harder and workloads are increasing.”

Sick days in numbers

 Sickness absence in the labour market fell by 27% from 1993 to 2013, from 178 million working days lost to 131 million

The reason given for most sick days in 2013 was musculoskeletal conditions such as back problems, accounting for 31 million lost days

Minor illnesses such as coughs or colds accounted for 27 million, while 15 million sick days were for stress/anxiety/depression.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Mr Cuddeford said the federation's own data showed a 70% increase in stress-related absence since January among its members.

The federation suggested the force should cap overtime for police, continue clinical support for staff where necessary and review workloads for those returning.

Chris Rowson, head of human resources at West Midlands Police, said: “We realise colleagues experience genuine illness or sustain injuries on duty which prevent them from attending work.

“Various supportive measures are in place, including counselling support for those dealing with traumatic incidents, a physiotherapy service and general health checks. We also provide advice and guidance through a wellbeing website.”

Source, image source

Leave a Reply

Close Menu