The percentage of working days lost by my Department’s staff attributed to stress-related conditions during the six months from July to December amount to 15 per cent. of all working days lost due to sickness absence. The Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007, so the percentage is based on figures from 1 July to 31 December 2007 (the latest information available).
The Department is committed to providing a safe working environment and has put in place a range of measures to support managers and employees on health and wellbeing issues, including the provision of professional counselling and support from the Department’s Employee Assistance Provider, Right Corecare. The Department has piloted a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Stress Questionnaire in one part of the organisation and conducted Individual Stress Risk Assessments for employees who require them. It will shortly be launching a comprehensive Stress Prevention Policy, based on HSE Management Standards.