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Mental Health

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many of his staff have taken sick leave due to mental health problems in the last year. [111987]

My Department is committed to managing sickness absences 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.My Department also confirms its legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for employees and remains committed to meeting the targets for reducing the number of working days lost due to work related injuries and illness set out in the Government's Revitalising Health and Safety initiative. These have been incorporated into the Departmental Health and Safety Policy statement.In the calendar year 2002, 279 staff in DfEs took sick leave due to anxiety, depression, stress and other mental illness.