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Departmental Sick Leave

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many working days have been lost due to sickness amongst employees for which his Department is responsible in each year since 1997. (218043)

Sickness absence figures are contained in the annual report ‘Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service’, published by the Cabinet Office. Website at

The sickness absence reports on the Cabinet Office website date back to 2004. DCMS only holds sickness absence data dating back to 2003.

The Department's sickness absence policy provides guidance to employees on the procedures to following in dealing with sick absence. It also details responsibilities of individuals, line managers and human and business resources in monitoring and dealing with sickness absence and encouraging return to work—which includes guidance on making reasonable adjustments for employees.

As part of the Department's attendance, health and well-being programme for employees, there are also policies covering a range of flexible work patterns such as part-time/job share, flexible working hours and working from home to support work-life balance. There is support for employees who may wish to take a career break and/or special leave.

The Department also has an employee assistance programme, which is free to employees (their families and friends) and offers advice and counselling on both personal and work related issues.