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Staff Absenteeism

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many working days were lost to his Department and its executive agencies in each year since 1997 due to staff absenteeism, expressed as the average annual number of absent days per employee; and what the estimated total cost to the Department and its agencies of absenteeism was in each year. (76891)

[holding answer 19 June 2006]: The information is contained in the following tables. The source of the figures is the Cabinet Office’s annual reports on sickness absence in the Civil Service. Information for 2005 is not yet available.

Absenteeism has been taken to mean absences due to sickness absence.

The Department for Work and Pensions was created in July 2001, but it was not until 2003 that the systems for recording the relevant data were combined. The figures prior to 2003 therefore reflect the position in the Employment Service and Department for Social Security (and its agencies). The tables do not contain information about the Disability and Carers Agency because it did not exist as an executive agency prior to 2005.

Table 1: Average working days lost per staff year through sickness

Organisation

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Appeals Service

Child Support Agency

11.9

11.1

12.1

11.1

11.0

11.6

13.8

11.6

Employment Service

11.5

11.8

12.8

13.5

Jobcentre Plus

112.5

111.1

111.0

111.1

110.6

110.8

12.0

9.8

The Pension Service

10.5

9.5

DWP Overall

212.2

210.8

210.9

211.0

11.1

10.8

11.6

9.6

DWP Staffing Numbers

291,499

297,089

290,170

288,696

127,260

133,908

133,867

131,741

1 Benefits Agency. 2 DSS only.

Table 2: Estimated total cost of sickness absence in £ million

Organisation

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Appeals Service

Child Support Agency

6.2

6.1

7.1

7.4

8.3

9.7

12.2

10.6

Employment Service

27.4

29.3

33.9

37.4

Jobcentre Plus

158.8

156.8

157.1

157.6

153.1

152.5

78.9

67.5

The Pension Service

15.4

13.6

DWP overall

275.2

272.1

267.9

268.7

102.9

109.1

122.6

106.2

DWP staffing numbers

291,499

297,089

290,170

288,696

127,260

133,908

133,867

131,741

1 Benefits Agency. 2 DSS only.