Education Staff Absences

Article by Columnist, Jordan Tennant

Psychological concerns are common amongst South Lanarkshire education employees.

A council report has found a third of all staff absences in education resources for September were due to psychological reasons. This resulted in 1,715 working days lost for that month alone and absences relating to respiratory problems had doubled from the previous year to 21%.

A number of teachers share the same concerns that Coronavirus is a prominent factor for sick leave as many are stressed about the “serious risk” of contracting the virus and passing it on to their family.

One source said: “It’s clearly obvious that they fired everybody back into school without any real plan in position.” She draws attention to other places of work such as large offices and call centres who are still working from home but in schools there is “31 bodies crammed into one room with absolutely no social distancing.”

This has caused “stress and anxiety” amongst colleagues with “the government’s idea of stopping covid in schools was putting a bottle of hand sanitiser in each class” she said.

South Lanarkshire Council’s head of personnel services Kay McVeigh said: “We are fully aware that mental health issues are of concern to all employers across Scotland and not just within South Lanarkshire Council.

The council has an employee assistance programme in place to support all of its staff which offers “practical and emotional support” whether the issue is personal or work related.”

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