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Departments: Sick Leave

Volume 462: debated on Friday 29 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of sick leave taken by staff in his Department was stress-related in each of the last three years. (145970)

The percentage of stress-related sick leave taken by staff in the last three financial years is as follows:

Percentage of sick leave

2004-05

3

2005-06

10.5

2006-07

13

The Department has been improving the way in which it monitors and records sickness absence.

As part of our attendance, health and welfare programme for staff, we have a range of policies in place to reduce stress. These include: a stress management policy; a revised sickness absence policy; a full range of flexible working patterns to support work-life balance; an on-site gym and yoga classes.

The Department also launched the employee assistance programme in April 2007, which includes a confidential advisory service and counselling service for all staff.

We will also be undertaking a stress audit at the end of 2007, beginning of 2008.