Issues have been raised about excessive sick charges at BBC Northern Eire.
BC NI staff clocked up the second highest common variety of sick absences in comparison with different UK nations with no less than 2,802 days misplaced in a yr.
The general variety of sick days recorded by the company in 2021/22 reached nearly 85,000 with a complete of 6,863 public service broadcasting workers calling in sick.
Figures obtained by this newspaper present that 224 of its 650-odd NI-based workers took a median of seven.33 sick days final yr.
That’s larger than the typical days taken in Wales (5.71) and Scotland (6.31), and solely slighter decrease than the typical sick days taken in England (8.61).
DUP MP Gregory Campbell stated BBC NI should present licence charge payers with particulars of the way it intends to deal with the issue.
“They want to determine why our area is worse than many of the others,” he stated.
“The figures do elevate quite a few questions and the primary is how lengthy has this been the case — has it been for a while or is it a brand new downside?
“That’s vital as a result of often there are underlying causes for prime sick absence and so they must be recognized.”
A big quantity of absences have been recorded inside the BBC’s Information and Present Affairs division with 1,475 people taking a complete of 19,327 days off resulting from illness.
Not less than 3,065 workers took a mixed whole of 39,280 days off inside the public broadcaster’s Nations unit — which incorporates BBC Information NI.
The general common of sick days taken throughout all 4 nations final yr was 7.42.
The common variety of sick days taken inside Community Information was 3.88 with 1,100 workers taking a complete of 12,895 sick days.
A BBC spokesperson insisted the organisation takes the problem critically.
“The BBC has labored to modernise our well-being provide with quite a few health-related help schemes to mirror the calls for of working in a 24-hour international media organisation,” they stated.
“We take the well being and well-being of our workers critically, like several accountable employer, and encourage workers to entry this help.”
Nevertheless, Mr Campbell described the response as “generic” and stated it doesn’t go far sufficient.
“That form of response is the anticipated from any massive firm,” he stated.
“However the BBC is exclusive — it isn’t like every other organisation.
“There must be an actual plan put in place as a result of it’s the licence charge payer footing the invoice.”
The figures for the Director Generals Workplace and Editorial Requirements weren’t disclosed because of the small variety of workers inside these departments who could also be identifiable.
The info, which covers the interval of the Covid-19 pandemic and consists of workers on long run illness, doesn’t embrace help groups which help all 4 nations.
Mr Campbell stated the problem is linked to “terribly excessive salaries” on the BBC.
“Sadly there’s a tradition inside the BBC of failing to take account of the truth that individuals are pressured to choose up the tab.”
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