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Government Departments: Staff Absence

Volume 710: debated on Monday 18 May 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the rates of staff (a) absence, and (b) sickness absence, were at (1) HM Treasury, and (2) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, in each of the past three years; and what the targets for HM Treasury were in each case. [HL3237]

Sickness absence data for all central government departments from 2005 to 2007 were published annually by the Cabinet Office at http://beta. civilservice.gov.uk/about/who/statistics/sickness.aspx. The last report was for the financial year 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007.

From 1 April 2007 it became the responsibility of individual departments to produce sickness data and the Cabinet Office has published a combined departmental quarterly report. This is available on http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/reports/absence.aspx.

In respect of the financial year 2007-08, the average working days lost due to sickness for HM Treasury and its agencies were:

HMT 4.7 days;

National Savings and Investments 5.8 days;

Government Actuary Department 4.2 days;

Office Government Commerce 4.0 days;

Office Government Commerce Buying Solutions 7.7 days; and

Debt Management Office 4.2 days.

There are no published absence targets. Data for 2008-09 are not yet available.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the rates of staff (a) absence, and (b) sickness absence, were at (1) the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and (2) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, in each of the past three years; and what the targets for the department were in each case. [HL3241]

Arrangements for absence such as annual leave, maternity leave, and training are agreed locally between line managers and their staff. Asking each individual line manager in the department for details would incur disproportionate cost.

The Cabinet Office has introduced a revised format for reporting sickness absence statistics across the Civil Service. The new format was introduced at the end of March 2008 and sickness absence reports for the department's predecessor, the Department of Trade and Industry, for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006-07 are published on the Civil Service website along with data for other departments and agencies at www.civilservice. gov.uk/about/who/statistics/index.aspx.

I have approached the chief executives of the Insolvency and Companies House and they will respond to you directly.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the rates of staff (a) absence, and (b) sickness absence, were at (1) the Department of Health, and (2) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, in each of the past three years; and what the targets for the department were in each case.[HL3280]

Information about absences other than sick leave is not held centrally and to establish it would incur disproportionate cost. All staff are entitled to 30 days annual leave per year.

The figures for sickness absence in the department and its agencies for the past three years are given below:

Sickness absence rates shown as average working days lost per person

DH

MHRA

PASA

2008-09

5.6

6.0

5.1

2007-08

5.3

6.9

4.7

2006-07

6.5

The figure for 2006-7 is combined, because in that year (and before) the report was prepared in that way by an external company directly from payroll data.

Reducing the level of sickness absence is an important issue for the whole Civil Service. All government departments have been set a target of reducing the average days of sickness absence per person per year to 7.5 or less.

More information on sickness absence is available on the Civil Service statistics website at www. civilservice.gov.uk/about/who/statistics/sickness.aspx.

The figures for sickness absence in the past three years for the non-departmental public bodies associated with the department are given below:

Name of Non-Departmental Public bodySickness absence rates shown as Average working days lost per person

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

The Alcohol Education and Research Council

0.00

0.00

1.00

Appointments Commission

5.86

9.78

5.44

Commission for Social Care Inspection

11.65

12.49

11.92

Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence

6.20

3.70

1.90

General Social Care Council

2.44

2.00

2.57

Health Protection Agency

8.17

8.32

9.00

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

5.10

6.70

6.50

Human Tissue Authority

4.00

4.00

5.00

Monitor-Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts

2.10

2.80

2.90

Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board

5.20

11.00

7.50

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the rates of staff (a) absence, and (b) sickness absence, were at (1) the Department for International Development, and (2) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, in each of the past three years; and what the targets for the department were in each case.[HL3283]

The Department for International Development (DfID) does not keep comprehensive central records of all non-sickness related absences.

(1) The average number of working days lost to sickness absence in the Department for International Development (DfID) from 2006 onwards, are shown in the table below:

Year

2006

2007

2008

Average working days lost to sickness absence

5.0

4.4

6.0

Through this period, DfID worked towards a target of 5.5 average working days.

(2) During the period 2006 to present, DfID has had two non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). Crown Agents Holding and Realisation Board was wound up on 1 April 2008, and Commonwealth Scholarship Commission is still in operation. None of these non-departmental public bodies employed any staff.