More than 80 Islington Council staff suffer work stress

More than 80 council staff have been diagnosed with work-related stress and mental health issues over the last three years.

Town Hall workers also averaged almost six sick days each during the financial year 2010/11.

In total, 84 members of staff were formally classified with mental health problems linked to their jobs between April 2008 and March 2011.

In addition, 18 workers were dismissed on the grounds of ill health and 41 were dismissed for competency or capability problems in the same period.

The figures come from a Freedom of Information request by the Gazette that also shows a total of 856 workers were referred to occupational health during that time.

Anne Thomas, assistant director of Islington Mind, a mental health charity, said: “It is not surprising in the current economic climate that public sector workers are under particular stress.”

She added: “However, to date we have seen no increase in the number of people referred to our Jobs at Risk (job retention programme) from public sector organisations in Islington.”

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Louise Round, Islington Council’s corporate director of resources, said: “The average number of sick days taken by employees in 2011 was lower than the public sector average.”

She said all staff have access to a confidential employee assistance programme that offers advice and support to help workers and their families.

She added: “Unfortunately there are cases where employees are unable to continue in their roles due to ill health. On these occasions, dismissal is considered when other reasonable options have been exhausted.”