West Berkshire Council (WBC) requires an Occupational Health Service as a business function and a tool to reduce absence and assist people back into the workplace. All references to council employees includes school employees for those schools who buy back HR services. In recent years WBC absence levels have increased from 8.74 days in 2015/16 to 9.65 days in 2019/20. There is a continued drive to improve employee attendance. This has been a consistent position for some years and is based on a three pronged strategy of using a progressive Sickness Absence Policy to manage the issue (including in-depth Return To Work Interviews), ensuring managers are well trained and well supported in their use of the Policy and ensuring a proactive approach to the Occupational Health service (including early intervention and in-depth management reports). In order to do this the Council requires clear and unequivocal advice from the OH Physician and Advisor.