Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Sick Lame and Lazy

We need some more of this style of management for some

The mail is having a go again at the Police again Read Here. This time it is about time spent on restrictive or recuperative duty. Officially, I suppose that I'm included as one of those tied to a desk. I believe that each case should be treated on their merits. It doesn't really mention how many are recovering from injury on duties.

I don't think the police are any different from any other public service. There are of course those who play the system and occupational health are quite happy to take too much of a lenient view. In my case I could quite easily gone onto 20 hours a week for several months if I'd wanted.

I always wondered why police officers with bad backs were switched to desk duties (restricted) on full hours, yet civilian workers (already doing desk duties) always seemed to come under recuperative duties doing part time hours on full pay. They'd even get their own personal "special" chair. It wouldn't happen elsewhere in the private sector.

My father was injured at work and had to have an operation on his knee. After a short time he was put onto Statutory Sick Pay and eventually as he could not return, his employment was terminated.

Perhaps some cases should be looked at and some "best value" decisions made. We can all name individuals who are always "sick, lame and lazy". As an organisation we should get rid of the dead wood, but of course treat those sympathetically, who find themselves genuinely disabled.

I of course have great sympathy for the genuine stress cases ground down by the system over the years. They are easy to spot, impeccable sickness records, top street cops, until it gets too much.

One of my old officers who'd transferred elsewhere contacted me, telling me he was going to resign the next day. Now this bloke was one of the best officers I'd ever worked with. I got him to come round my house and he was a mess, definitely in Burnout. He was ill and I persuaded him to go sick. In the short term I sorted an OH referral for him.

He got his counselling and I attended his sick case conference. The personnel lady I felt was very unsympathetic. She obviously hadn't read his personal file and had him down as a shirker. I had to point out his previously impeccable sickness record and asked how such an exceptional officer could find himself in this position. The OH lady understood and he got sorted out. He is still serving and still doing more than most, counting down the days till he can go.

There are processes in place, but I can't recall anybody ever being sacked for inefficiency. As a manager I've dealt with some crap officers, but nowadays it's all about development and action plans. What this means is the manager will be forever doing paperwork reports and case conferences, when the organisation hasn't really got the will to go through with it's own policies. I've tried, and it took up so much time that I wasn't getting any normal work done, or concentrating on my more productive officers. Instead massive pressure is brought to bear on individuals to resign. We seem to have lost the art of saying "you're fired".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As every, the 'scandal' appears just before an otherwise anonymous thinktank releases their otherwise unremarkable report.

I'm sure it's got nothing to do with them wanting to tap into the anti-rozzer Zeitgeist and generate a bit of interest in their boring ramblings.

The only 'evidence' seen so far seems to be an offhand comment by a retired senior officer - who obviously wants to feel self-righteous and important now he's safely out of the game.