How We Reduced Absence At Watford Borough Council By 44% | FirstCare


Watford Borough Council provide a range of services to the Watford community, helping to support a population of
over 91,000 people spread across a diverse range of towns, industries and areas. Services range from community safety to parks and open spaces, and from housing to waste & recycling.
Providing such a vast range of services requires skilled, commitment and, crucially, well managed workforce. It is in this area where, in partnership with FirstCare, Watford Borough have excelled and developed a management team with the confidence, skills and tools required to effectively manage absence.
Return to Work Interview Compliance at the Council for the 12 months to July 2014 has been 91.3%, which is 14% higher that the average for a local authority.
In addition, compliance rates for return to work interviews for stress related absences have increased year-on-year, from a rate of 63% in July 2012 to 75% in 2013 and 78% in 2014. This is due to a combination of the tracking and monitoring tools provided by FirstCare and the support and guidance offered by HR.
The Council also utilises FirstCare’s Absence Monitoring system, whereby all line manager decisions in response to absence policy alerts are tracked and reported on, in addition, FirstCare:
• Provide EAP details to all employees reporting stress related absence
• Use Registered General Nurses to provide health and lifestyle advice to all employees during each sickness absence
• Provide HR with access to real-time on reporting concerning line manager performance and absence trends.
These systems have played a central role in helping to reduce absence, with the 12 month rolling absence rate falling from 3.66% in July 2012 to 2.04% in July 2014, a fall of 44%.

What the client said

“We have been really impressed with the true partnership approach FirstCare have developed with us. They have been proactive with service enhancements and quick to respond to feedback. This together with their professional nurse advisory service, user-friendly portal and real time management information have made FirstCare a valuable contributor to our success in significantly reducing sickness absence at the Council.”
Cathy Watson, Head of Human Resources
Watford Borough Council

Results From FirstCare Service

  • 44% Absence Reduction
  • 23% increase in the number of RTW interviews completed


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