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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
'Sick pay' staff take on council
Woman sneezing
Sick leave is thought to cost the county 15m a year
Two former Staffordshire County Council workers are taking the authority to a tribunal after being sacked for having too many days off sick.

Earlier this month, the authority revealed it had laid off 80 employees for frequently being away from work on sick leave in the past year.

On Thursday, an efficiency panel will examine measures being taken to cut sickness rates at the council.

Sick pay is estimated to cost the county around 15m a year.

Long-term sick

Public services union Unison said two employees had lodged cases with the tribunal courts.

The council says that an equivalent of about 800 years in sick leave has been taken by the 30,000 county council workers over the past 12 months.

This amounts to an employee taking an average of 10 days off each year.

County council spokesman Martin Watkins said many of those who had been dismissed were already on long-term sick leave.

Head of corporate human resources Mike Easby will give a report on the progress of savings being made in terms of sickness at Thursday's meeting.

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