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Industrial Action/Illness

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many working days were lost due to (a) industrial action and (b) illness in his Department in each year since 1997. [95899]

The overall sickness absence rate in the Department for Education and Skills for 2001 was 8.4 days per staff year.The overall sickness absence rate in the former Department for Education and Employment for each of the years from 2000 to 1997 was:

Days per staff year
200011.3
199911.0
199811.6
199712.6

The figures are taken from the report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service", published annually by Cabinet Office. The figures for 2002 will be announced in due course.

My Department is committed to managing sickness absence effectively and to maintain its efforts to try and meet the 2003 target for reduced sickness absence as set out in its Service Delivery Agreement.

Information on the number of working days lost due to industrial action could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. My Department recognises the importance of and maintains its commitment to working in partnership with the trade union side as a means of eliminating industrial action.