ONS awarded business prize for improving sickness absence process

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) (pictured) has won the British Quality Foundation’s 2014 Lean Six Sigma Award for its project on improving the processes for dealing with long-term sick leave amongst ONS field staff. 

Parliament TV

By Sarah.Aston

17 Nov 2014

The Lean Six Sigma Award recognises exceptional performance improvement projects based on Lean Six Sigma.

ONS was chosen by an independent panel for implementing a project to improve the process for getting field staff back to work after long-term sickness absence.

The ONS has around 850 field staff members working remotely and reporting to more than 70 field managers. Due to staff working remotely, it became apparent that the process for dealing with long-term sickness absence in this area was not consistent and ONS implemented a project to improve this.

As a result of the project, ONS was able to get more field workers back into work and therefore save additional recruitment costs.

Rushmi Laidlaw, who works for the ONS Continuous Improvement Zone, puts the success of the project down to having “champions across the organisation who can help identify these types of improvement projects”.

Laidlaw continues: “We have extensive training programmes in place which aim to empower more people to make a difference to how we do things.”  

ONS was presented with its award at the 2014 UK Excellence Award Ceremony which took place on Thursday 16 October at the InterContinental London, Park Lane.

Ian Stokes, chief executive of the British Quality Foundation, said: “The ONS team has demonstrated how versatile Lean Six Sigma tools are with a great example of a streamlined and beneficial process.”

Previous winners of the Lean Six Sigma include London Underground, Royal Mail and Cooper Vision.  


Photo Caption: (L-R Award host Alexander Armstrong, Peter Fullerton - Director of Data Collection at ONS, Rushmi Laidlaw - ONS Continuous Improvement Zone, Lindsay Cracknell - Operational Development ONS, John Collington, Board Director at BQF)

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