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Departmental Absenteeism

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many staff of her Office were recorded absent for non-medical reasons on (a) 2 February 2009 and (b) 3 February 2009; what estimate she has made of the (i) cost to her Office and (ii) number of working hours lost as a result of such absence; and what guidance has been issued to staff in respect of absence on those days. (260572)

32 staff from the Government Equalities Office were absent due to non-medical reasons on 2 February 2009 and two staff were absent on 3 February 2009. Many were able to work from home once it was clear transport was disrupted, as access to departmental IT systems was unaffected. The total number of working hours lost was 245 and the cost for time lost is estimated at £5,060. For all absences the Department asks that staff notify their line manager by 10 am on the day of any change to their normal working pattern. When staff made contact they were asked to consider all transport options to enable them to attend the office but to take into account any personal safety issues.