More than 1,000 days of sick leave have been taken by staff at Hertfordshire County Council due to Covid-19, says a new report.

The data, which runs until the end of June, reports that Covid-19 accounted for 1091 absence days at the county council.

But overall in those first three months of lockdown, sickness rates at the county council decreased.

In fact, rates of annual sickness leave are lower than last year – running at 6.6 days per employee in June, compared to 7.1 days in December.

Stress, depression and anxiety – along with muscular-skeletal complaints – continue to be the most common reasons for absence across the organisation.

According to the report, sickness levels between April and June were highest in adult care services and lowest in resources.

The report shows absence days were recorded as Covid-19 where the symptoms appeared at a level where employees were too ill to work from home and accounted for two per cent of absence taken.

But the report also acknowledges the impact of Covid-19 on overall levels of sickness absences.

The report states: “Reductions in sickness absence have also been seen across other local authorities and have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"For example staff with significant health conditions who may have taken time off sick have been shielding on full pay, much of the organisation has been working from home leading to greater potential for employees to continue to work whilst feeling slightly unwell, hygiene has improved and there has been less illness spread by children not attending school or nursery settings.”

The figures are included in a report due to be presented to a meeting of the county council’s resources and performance cabinet panel on Thursday (October 1).