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Departmental Sick Leave

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many day’s sickness absence have been taken by staff in his Department in each month of 2009-10; and at what cost. (308573)

The Department encourages a culture where good attendance is expected and valued. However, it recognises from time to time absences for medical reasons may be unavoidable. The Department aims to treat its staff who are ill with sympathy and fairness and where possible provide them with support which will enable them to recover their health and return to work.

The number of days of sickness absence taken by staff in DECC in each of the last 12 months could be calculated only by incurring disproportionate cost. However, the total number of working days lost due to sickness in the year to 30 September 2009 (the latest available figure) is 2,521, an average of 2.6 days per employee.

The Department does not routinely calculate the number of staff who have received sick pay. As this would involve manually investigating employee sickness records and pay details on an individual basis, the cost of doing this would be disproportionate to the benefit to be derived.