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05/02/07
Police Defend Record on Numbers on Sickness Hours
- We stick to the government rules, says Met

Police Defend Record on Numbers on Sickness HoursLONDON'S police have hit back at claims that many officers are slackers.

A new report has revealed that 1,700 Metropolitan Police officers, or 5.7 per cent of the total force, are on what are known as Restricted or Recuperative Duties. The first refers to police men and women who are not well enough to face front line tasks and the second to those whose injuries are such that they work only part time when first back on the job.

The figures, broadly in line with the picture nationally, have led to calls for a shake-up in the system, but a spokesperson for the Met said: "We adhere to Home Office guidelines. On restrictive duties, officers are working full hours."

"We will fight to ensure police officers injured protecting the public are not further abused by the system," said Jan Berry of the Police Federation.
Coincidentally, today, the first Monday in February, is reckoned to be the most popular of the year for throwing a sickie.

"Poor weather, long dark nights, post-Christmas blues and a general dissatisfaction with official holidays all mean early February is a very popular time for workers to give themselves an extra 'duvet day'," said Peter Mooney, of the Employment Law Advisory Services.

"Add that to the fact that almost three-quarters of the country's skivers prefer to fake illness on a Monday, and that makes 5 February the worst day of the year for employers."

Brendan Barber, of the Trades Union Congress, countered that February is the height of the cold and flu season and that employers usually prefer their staff not to come to work to spread germs.



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