§ MR. F. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, will he explain why the details of the regulations governing sick leave in the Post Office, which have recently been revised, have been withheld from the staff; whether an absence on sick leave of 18 days in two years brings an officer within the operations of the pension regulations; and whether he can see his way to publish to the staff the regulations now in force?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
The regulations regarding sick leave in the staff of the Post Office have been communicated by Circular from time to time to the Surveyors and Heads of Departments, and there is no desire that they should be withheld from the staff. In consequence of the excessive sick absence in some branches of the Service, to which the attention of the Postmaster General was recently directed 1215 by the Treasury, the Postmaster General decided that when an officer was absent in two consecutive years for more than the average sick absence of the whole staff, or of the staff of the office in which he was serving (whichever was the highest), the Medical Officer should be asked to state whether in his opinion there was any reason why the officer concerned was not likely to render regular and useful service to the Department in the future. There is no desire, however, on the part of the Postmaster General to refuse sick absence in any case where the circumstances require it, or to call on any officer to take his pension whose health enables him to discharge the duties of his office.