Charity Commission to hold stress management workshops

Staff will be encouraged to carry out risk assessments after a rise in long-term sick leave at the commission

Sick leave
Sick leave

The Charity Commission will hold staff workshops on stress management and carry out risk assessments on stress in response to a large rise in long-term sickness absence.

At the commission's open board meeting in Taunton yesterday, it was reported that there had been a 20 per cent increase in the number of commission employees taking long-term sickness leave over the past three months.

Paul Johns, the commission's head of performance and planning, said most of the long-term leave was caused by stress-related illnesses. He said this applied to staff at the commission's offices in London, Taunton and Liverpool and could have been caused by uncertainty about future job losses at the organisation.

In his report to the board, chief executive Sam Younger said the commission would introduce a "stress-awareness programme" that included "management of stress" workshops.

In a written report to the board, Johns warned that such absences were hindering the commission's work.

"The increase in concerns about some of the underlying issues, such as absence rates, numbers and quality, suggests that it will become harder and harder to maintain existing standards of performance and service delivery," the report said.

Speaking at the meeting, Johns said it was important for the board to realise that "not everything in the garden is rosy".

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