Bonum Certa Men Certa

No Wonder Staff of the EPO Gets Sick of the Management, Which Games Sickness Statistics in Order to Delude the World

"It still remains true that no justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous."

--C.S. Lewis



Medical doctor for EPO



Summary: The pattern of sick leave and sickness-related distortion of statistics serves to show that the EPO's management is only concerned with making itself look good (and well paid), but not with the wellbeing of staff

Politicians love to game employment statistics in favour of their party or against the opposition. There are craftful tricks for achieving the spin they are all along after and then put out a misleading narrative that can seduce a loyal follower (or media aligned with their agenda, e.g. News Corp. for GOP), not a sceptical outsider. All they need to do is fling a lot of something at the wall and hope something will stick.



The EPO likes to make up all sorts of figures, some of which we debunked here before (e.g. regarding 'production'). These are the classic talking points which EPO managers like to vomit on 'media partners' such as Les Échos [1, 2, 3] (for immediate and obedient publication, later to be referenced as 'proof' in private letters from Benoît Battistelli to politicians like Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]).

EPO sick leave figures are being made up and manipulated, says an analysis sent to us. Humorously titled "a miraculous recovery", here is what it says about Battistelli's poor treatment of the ill:

The DG1 dashboard is worth following. We recommend that you save or print whatever interesting material you find because data sometimes change or disappear at the EPO. In April the DG1 dashboard reported 14.553 days of sick leave for Jan–March 2015, which was 8% over the figure for the same period of last year and 3% above plan. Three months later the figure for Jan-June was 22.812 days, i.e. 5% below the same period in 2014, and 8% below plan. Improvement continues: at the end of September sickness was 13% below the same period in 2014 and 14% below plan. As always we are left wondering whether this is a result of a miraculous improvement in staff health or merely an example of creative statistics.

"Under the new regulations every absence for medical reasons, even of a single hour, counts as a full day sick leave..."There are hints that this apparent miracle may not be in the field of health but rather of accounting. After a few months of worsening figures, the improvement started when the new health regulations were put in place. We know that as from the 1st of April the rules no longer allow for the so-called “reduced productivity”, previously counted as ca. 4500 days of “sickness” in DG1. This alone would explain an “improvement” of 15%. Apart from this, the EPO has also unlocked a number of invalidity procedures. Putting a 100% ill colleague on invalidity (or “inactivity”, or now “incapacity”) removes 250 days of sick leave per year. Therefore the improved statistics do not necessarily mean that there has been an improvement in staff health and well-being.

One thing is certain: for individual staff members the sick-leave calculation applied by the Office has become incomprehensible. Under the new regulations every absence for medical reasons, even of a single hour, counts as a full day sick leave for the purpose of Art. 62(a) ServRegs (see point 7) and brings the person concerned closer to a salary reduction and obligatory medical examinations. This is typical of the double standards applied by the current EPO management. Please contact us when - or preferably before - you become “adversely affected” by the new rules and get a cut in salary for having reached the maximum of 125 “days”.



Given enough bang for the buck from US company FTI Consulting (the EPO pays it almost a million dollars to spread around this kind of nonsense), a lot of the public might actually believe the sordid claims from the EPO. Will they get away with it?

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