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Departmental Sick Leave

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in his Department or its predecessors were on sick leave for (a) over 30 days, (b) over 50 days and (c) over 100 days in each of the last five years. (256324)

The information requested for the core Department is shown in the following table.

Number of staff

Total working days absent in year

2006

2007

2008

30-49

80

81

50

50-99

72

66

41

100 plus

48

25

29

Information for the Executive agencies and for earlier years could be provided only by incurring disproportionate cost.

DEFRA has a policy to promote health and wellbeing and reduce sickness absence for its employees. It manages long term sickness absences by facilitating timely employee access to occupational health advice, medical or wellbeing interventions. Individuals are also encouraged to return to work through the use of occupational health expertise that enables them to undertake a structured programme of recuperative duties. This helps employees return to full working hours and duties as quickly as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in his Department were recorded as having been on sick leave for over 12 months on 31 December in each of the last five years. (256631)

The information requested for the core Department is as follows:

Number

2006

1

2007

4

2008

2

Information for the Executive agencies and for earlier years could be provided only by incurring disproportionate cost.

DEFRA’s strategy for managing employee sickness absence over 12 months is to ensure that individuals receive necessary occupational health interventions. Their managers also receive timely medical and human resources advice and information. Employees are further supported in returning to work by undertaking a structured programme of recuperative duties, agreed with their manager and the occupational health service. This helps them return to full working hours and duties as quickly as possible.