(2) 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.
Information on stress is not captured as a defined absence category nor in the format requested; the only figures available capture many other conditions that may not be associated directly with stress. Therefore we are unable to provide the information regarding stress-related illness due to disproportionate cost.
The health and safety of everyone in the Department is of paramount importance; we have a duty of care to help prevent staff becoming ill and to support them when they are. The Northern Ireland Office already has a series of effective policies and procedures in place which help achieve these aims. These include a welfare service and an independent confidential counselling service that is available 24 hours a day.