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Prison Service: Sick Leave

Volume 475: debated on Friday 16 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) (a) how many working days were lost to sickness, (b) what the average number of working days per staff member lost to sickness was and (c) what percentage of days lost to sickness was attributed to stress-related conditions for (i) HM Prison Service staff and (ii) other departmental staff in each of the last five years; (195018)

(2) when he plans to answer question 195018 on staff sickness, tabled on 13 March 2008.

I replied to the hon. Member for Eastleigh’s question on 26 March 2008. Unfortunately it appears that it was not included in the Official Report that day. The answer to the original question is as follows.

The information is in the following tables and is derived from the Cabinet Office published report on sickness absence. There is no clear medical definition of stress and figures for the Ministry of Justice include all conditions relating to mental and behavioural disorders, a proportion of which will have a stress element. Information for the Office of Criminal Justice Reform and National Offender Management Service, which now forms part of the Ministry of Justice, is being provided in a separate Home Office response.

Table 1: Total and average working days per staff member lost to sickness in the Ministry of Justice’s agencies in each of the last five years

Agency

Sick days

Average staff in post

Average sick days

2003

Former DCA HQ

16,227

2,114

7.7

Office of the Public Guardian

3,626

294

12.3

Tribunals Service

13,616

1,075.3

12.7

Court Service

94,701

8,671

10.9

HM Prison Service

635,304

46,785

13.6

2004

Former DCA HQ

17,185.3

2,352.95

7.3

Office of the Public Guardian

2,825.5

316.64

8.9

Tribunals Service

13,145.3

1,079.49

12.2

Court Service

91,002

8,843.33

10.3

HM Prison Service

606,589

48,385

12.5

2005

Former DCA HQ

14,972.8

2,184.65

6.9

Office of the Public Guardian

3,277.5

340

9.6

Tribunals Service

13,595

1,196.83

11.4

Court Service

142,075.5

12,934.16

11

HM Prison Service

603,687

48,429

12.5

2006

Former DCA HQ

16,835.2

2,196.06

7.7

Office of the Public Guardian

3,437.5

342.42

10

Tribunals Service

31,228.5

2,770.67

11.3

Court Service

224,397.9

20,029.9

11.2

HM Prison Service

564,902

49,049

11.5

2007

Former DCA HQ

14,718

2,266.17

6.5

Office of the Public Guardian

2,642

310.3

8.5

Tribunals Service

25,189.5

2,848.4

8.8

Court Service

183,214.5

19,342.9

9.5

HM Prison Service

598,868

50,085

12

Table 2: Total and average working days lost and proportion attributed to mental and behavioural disorders in public sector Prison Service, 2003 to 2007

Mental and behavioural WDL

Percentage of days lost to sickness due to mental and behavioural disorder

2003

157,960

24.86

2004

155,103

25.57

2005

146,335

24.24

2006

129,421

22.91

2007

135,252

22.58

Table 3: Total and average working days lost and proportion attributed to mental and behavioural disorders in private sector Prison Service contracted estates

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

(a) Working days lost to sickness

Altcourse

7,354

5,798

n/a

n/a

n/a

Ashfield

2,937

4,229

3,704

2,810

n/a

Bronzefield

n/s

n/s

n/s

n/s

1

Doncaster

350

478

519

n/a

n/a

Dovegate

5,494

4,494

5,775

n/a

n/a

Forest Bank

n/s

n/s

n/s

n/s

n/s

Lowdham Grange

1,695

1,467

1,883

1,736

1,737

Parc

4271

3,867

4,271

n/a

n/a

Peterborough

n/s

n/s

n/s

1

1

Rye Hill

4,468

4,140

n/a

n/a

n/a

Wolds

2,833

1,996

1,064

1,145

n/a

Total

29,402

26,469

17,216

5,691

1,737

(b) Average number of working days per staff member lost to sickness

Altcourse

14.88

13.12

n/a

n/a

n/a

Ashfield

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Bronzefield

n/s

n/s

n/s

n/s

1

Doncaster

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Dovegate

11.00

10.00

12.00

n/a

n/a

Forest Bank

Lowdham Grange

5.00

5.00

6.00

6.00

6.00

Parc

13.15

13.35

10.55

n/a

n/a

Peterborough

n/s

n/s

n/s

1

1

Rye Hill

16.62

17.69

n/a

n/a

n/a

Wolds

13.50

9.68

6.60

7.20

n/a

Total

12.40

11.50

8.80

6.60

6.00

(c) Percentage of sick days lost to stress related illness.

Total

12.72

18.56

11.35

19.00

19.00

n/s = Not supplied by the contractor within the time scale given. Information may become available at later date.

n/a = Data are not available due to archiving and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

1 Not open

Note:

Information has been provided for two of the eleven contracted prisons Lowdham Grange and Parc. Due to the varying reporting systems across the contracted prison estate, data relating to stress related illnesses is not recorded at all establishments.

Table 4: Total and average working days lost and proportion attributed to mental and behavioural disorders in former Department for Constitutional Affairs

Total days lost

Proportion lost to mental disorders (percentage)

Magistrates Court Committee

106,438

19

HM Courts Service

60,911

17

Former Department for Constitutional Affairs

9,689

14

Tribunal Service

7,681

13

Office of the Public Guardian

1,066

38

Scotland Office

121

0

Wales Office

95

6

National Offender Management Service

11,135

20

Office of Criminal Justice Reform

1,347

29

Note:

The Cabinet Office published a report on sickness absence in the civil service on 7 February 2008. The report included an analysis of the days lost due to sickness absence for each Department by reasons for absence. The following table sets out the figures for 2006-07 for the constituent parts of this Department, which were in place prior to the creation of the Ministry of Justice in May 2007. Information on the reasons for sickness absence prior to 2006-07 for the former Department for Constitutional Affairs is not readily available.