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Mental Health

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many of his staff have taken sick leave due to mental health problems in the last year. [111991]

Cabinet Office records indicate that approximately 41 staff had absences caused by mental ill health in the year 2002.The Cabinet Office is committed to managing attendance effectively, and to meeting its obligation to provide a safe working environment for its staff. We have in place arrangements recommended by the 1998 report, "Working Well Together—Managing Attendance in the Public Sector", and are on schedule to achieving our target for reduced sickness absence of 30 per cent. compared with 1998 levels.

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many sick days were lost over the last year by his Department through staff mental health problems. [112005]

In 2002, an estimated 1,472 working days were lost in the Cabinet Office as a result of absence caused by staff mental health problems.The Cabinet Office is committed to managing attendance effectively, and to meeting its obligation to provide a safe working environment for its staff. It is also a priority to reduce the number of days lost generally as a result of sickness and work-related injury. The Department has in place arrangements as recommended by the 1998 report, "Working Well Together—Managing Attendance in the Public Sector", and is on schedule to achieve its target for reduced sickness absence of 30 per cent. compared with 1998 levels.