10,000 council staff on long-term sick leave

By William Eichler | 25 April 2024

Nearly 10,000 staff members working in councils across England are currently on long-term sick leave, freedom of information requests have revealed.

Sent by the Liberal Democrats to all English councils, the FOI requests showed there were 9,979 council staff on long-term sick leave, up 18% from 8,441 in 2019.

The FOI requests, which received 185 responses, also found 58% of local authorities had seen a rise in staff being off on long-term sickness compared to 2019.

Birmingham City Council has the highest number of staff members on sick leave (561, up from 390 in 2019). Leeds City Council is close behind with 425 currently off (up from 254 in 2019).

Only four councils had no staff on long-term sick leave: West Oxfordshire District Council, Staffordshire, Rushmoor and Copeland.

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