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Departmental Sick Leave

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the level of (a) sickness and (b) unauthorised absence was in (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies in each year since 1996-97; what targets are in place for a reduction in sickness and unauthorised absence; and if he will make a statement. (200815)

The information available is provided in the following tables:

Sickness Absence

The Department for Work and Pensions was created in July 2001. The overall figures prior to this date relate to absence levels in the Department of Social Security (DSS) Group (the main predecessor to the DWP) and the Employment Service. A comprehensive breakdown of DSS’ agencies’ figures prior to 2001 is not available.

The figures relate to working days lost per staff year and are taken from the report titled Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service, which was published annually by the Cabinet Office.

The DWP has a sickness absence target of 7.7 days per staff year to be achieved by April 2010. Each of the DWP businesses contributes to achieving the overall DWP target.

Department

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Employment Service

11.5

11.8

DSS Group

10.8

10.9

11.0

Appeals Service

Child Support Agency

11.0

11.6

13.8

11.6

11.2

13.9

Disability and Carers Service

9.0

12.1

Employment Service

12.8

13.5

Job Centre Plus (Benefits Agency pre-2002)

10.6

10.8

12.0

9.8

10.3

11.1

Pensions Service

10.5

9.5

9.3

10.0

DWP Other

9.4

10.1

9.8

8.1

9.4

9.8

DWP Overall

11.1

10.8

11.6

9.6

10.1

11.1

10.3

Unauthorised Absence

Prior to April 2007, we are only able to provide figures for unauthorised absences specifically due to industrial action. From April 2007, a new personnel computer system was introduced that records all types of unauthorised absence, including industrial action. Therefore, the 2007-08 figures include all types of unauthorised absence.

The Department does not have a specific target related to unauthorised absence.

Department

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Jobcentre Plus (BA/ES)

154,928

97,058

134

179,822

0

109,430

116,188

78,054

Child Support Agency

0

14

0

25,073

0

14,665

16,182

9,850

Pensions Service1

0

38

0

50,331

0

23,367

21,467

15,415

Disability and Carers Service1

0

0

0

14,917

0

8,143

8,402

3,528

Corporate Centre

0

2

0

16,790

0

8,996

8,631

4,989

DWP Total

154,928

97,112

134

286,933

0

164,601

170,870

111,836

1 From 1 April 2008 The Pension Service and Disability and Carers Service combined. Figures for industrial action on 24 April 2008 have been included in the total for the Pension Service.