§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for each agency in his Department what sick absence regime is operated.
§ Mr. Norris
In the Central Transport Group and in the Highways Agency, Transport Research Laboratory, Vehicle Certification Agency, Driving Standards Agency, Marine Safety Agency and Coastguard Agency, responsibility for managing sickness absence is delegated to line managers, who take action in respect of any unjustified absence. Where staff have reached a high level of sick absence, defined as more than 14 days in 12 months, managers are expected to implement measures to control absence which parallel those for dealing with poor work performance.
In the Vehicle Inspectorate, line managers are expected to register concern informally when a total of eight days is reached and to give an oral warning if 14 day's absence is reached. The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency allows line managers discretion in determining which cases require formal action but it uses a trigger point of 10 days' absence for considering initial action.