Image Credit: N Chadwick

Oxford City Council’s workforce quality is at ‘significant risk,’ report finds

Oxford City Council faced a ‘significant risk’ of workforce equality over concerns about its high level of staff turnover, according to a recent report

Oxford City Council’s staff turnover has increased by 15.29% over the past 12 months. The report highlighted that 27% of staff absences between January 2023 to 2024 were due to stress, anxiety and depression.

The Workforce Sustainability Report aimed to provide a “comprehensive update on the actions in place to improve the sustainability of the workforce.” 

While nationally the sector is struggling to recruit, the report noted that the Council experienced difficulty recruiting for roles like surveyors, lawyers and environmental health officers.

The council also struggled to offer competitive salaries in the current cost of living crisis. 

The issue could result in increased workloads, low morale, increased absence levels and ultimately impact services, the report said. 

Oxford City Council also detailed actions to mitigate this risk, including pay rises for around 80% of staff members’ mental health support, training for aspiring managers and introducing more proactive recruitment campaigns. 

The report stated there was an aspiration to have a ‘smaller and better-paid workforce’, which could improve morale.

Councillor Nigel Chapman, cabinet member for citizen-focused services and council companies, insisted that he “wouldn’t be particularly alarmed” as it was typical of local government reports. 

“Obviously we don’t want it to be higher but there will be a natural turnover,” added Chapman. 

An Oxford City Council spokesman added, “As a responsible local authority, Oxford City Council continually monitors and addresses risks across a broad spectrum of subject matters.

“In this instance, Oxford City Council is naturally aware of external factors such as the national cost of living crisis and competitive labour markets, which are risks all employers are experiencing.”

Image Credit: N Chadwick via Wikimedia Commons.

Image Description: Oxford City Council