Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Dan Peled

Qld public servants struggle with workload

MORE public servants could be set to step out from behind their desks and into sick or stress leave amid claims government employees were struggling to deal with increased workloads.

Premier Campbell Newman told an estimates hearing in Queensland Parliament on Tuesday, the rate of psychological damage claims to WorkCover since his government came into power had decreased.

But he conceded sick leave among public servants had been on the rise.

According to WorkCover figures, psychological damage claims had decreased to 90 per month, down from the average of 95.2.

Sick leave increased slightly last financial year with the average employee taking 7.16 days leave compared to 7.04 days in 2010-2011.

Mr Newman said the minor increase was to be expected during a period of change.

The Premier's response followed claims from Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk that public servants were reporting sick because of increased workloads placed on them when their colleagues were sacked.

Ms Palaszczuk said she spoke to one man in Mount Ommaney who was the sole survivor in his government unit and was unable to deal with the workload.

Mr Newman conceded some government employees were facing hard times but said sacked public servants would be supported through counselling and support programs and offered training and redeployment in some situations.

It comes on top of a hefty contribution from mining magnate Clive Palmer to Together union to establish the Hope Fund, a training and counselling service for axed public servants.

Mr Newman was grilled on the public service job losses during Tuesday's Department of Premier and Cabinet estimates hearing, where he revealed more than 3800 public servants had been offered voluntary redundancy packages.

Of the 3862 employees offered, 3162 had accepted while 13% were still considering the offer, Mr Newman said.
Up until June 30, 4039 temporary contracts in "non-frontline" positions were not extended.



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