Sick leave in Nav is higher than the national average

NAV office, where unemployed and job seekers goes for support.NAV. Photo: Norway Today Media

A new review carried out by NRK news has shown that Nav, which among other duties, seeks to combat high absenteeism,has even more absences itself than work-places in general.

In several counties, absence because of sickness at Nav work-places averaged 8.2% in 2016. That’s about 2% higher than the national average for all jobs.

The figures apply to employees of the work and welfare organisations. Nationwide, Nav a sick leave percentage of 7.3% last year. That was also above the national average.

‘We are not satisfied with an average absence rate of 7.3% for 2016. We think it is too high and we will therefore work to reduce it’, said HR Director of Nav, Inger-Johanne Stokke.

The HR Director believes many characteristics of Nav explain some of the reason for absenteeism being higher in there than in other jobs.

‘We have many employees in a front-line position, where there are periods of high work pressure’, said Stokke. She also pointed out the higher than average age of employees being a possible cause.

‘Furthermore, we know that a high percentage of female employees, and a relatively high average age of employees, are important factors for sick leave. In our business, we have both; we have a lot of women, and a high average age.

Nav in Sor-Trondelag has an absence rate of 7.2%. This is not something that the director, Bernt Asle Arntsen, is satisfied with. He says that the staff often meet with people who are in difficult situations, and thinks this may be a contributory cause of absenteeism.

‘To be put in such positions over a period of time is challenging. It is important for us to ensure that our employees upgrade their skills to be able to withstand in such harsh meetings with our users.’

Several of the employees NRK spoke to believe Nav does not take good enough care of their employees. However, they will not come forward with their criticism.

The director of Nav in Nord-Trøndelag, Vegard Rydningen, said this is something the organisation spends a lot of time on.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today