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Departmental Sick Leave

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many working days were lost by his Department due to stress-related illness in each of the last 24 months. (198941)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to protecting the health, welfare and productivity of its staff. Our occupational stress policy provides guidance for staff and managers on recognising and dealing with stress and on reducing the causes of stress in the workplace. We provide further support through a team of welfare officers, referral to our occupational health service and access to a 24/7 confidential Employee Assistance Programme.

The number of working days lost in each of the last 24 months, which FCO staff have declared to be stress-related are as follows:

Number

2006

April

176

May

160

June

180

July

160

August

143

September

156

October

103

November

105

December

110

2007

January

129

February

165

March

356

April

208

May

230

June

196

July

191

August

170

September

94

October

112

November

193

December

203

2008

January

97

February

95

March

94

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many days sick leave were taken on average by staff in his Department in each of the last five years. (198950)

The average number of days sick leave reported by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff in each of the last five years are:

Days

2003-04

3.9

2004-05

4.8

2005-06

4.2

2006-07

3.5

2007-08

3.8

On 1 January 2008 the FCO introduced new sickness absence reporting arrangements, which should lead to more accurate reporting of sickness absence figures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of his Department's staff took more than (a) five, (b) 10, (c) 15, (d) 20, (e) 25, (f) 30, (g) 35 and (h) 40 days leave due to stress in each of the last five years, broken down by pay grade. (198970)

We are unable to provide a breakdown of figures for staff in each grade who took stress-related leave in each of the categories requested by the hon. Member. The numbers in each category would be so small that they risk exposing the individuals concerned to the risk of being identified.

The following table sets out aggregated numbers for staff who took five or more days sick absence due to illness declared as stress-related in the last five years:

Number

2003-04

36

2004-05

58

2005-06

75

2006-07

46

2007-08

48