HC Deb 21 December 1999 vol 341 cc577-8W
Mr. Hammond

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the number of working days lost through sickness per 1,000 employees in(a) the public sector and (b) the private sector in the last year for which data are available. [103539]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Philip Hammond, dated 21 December 1999As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question about working days lost due to sickness in the public and private sector.

Table A: Estimated capital spending by the private sector
£ million
1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02
Defence 319.0 315.0 520.0 199.0
FCO and Overseas Development 24.0 29.0 4.0 2.0
Agriculture1 0.0 0.0 9.0 12.0
Trade and Industry 51.0 54.0 32.0 32.0
Environment, Transport and the Regions2 636.0 917.0 775.0 740.0
Education and Employment3 11.0 23.0 27.0 9.0
Home Office 73.0 227.0 195.0 44.0
Legal Departments 16.0 64.0 66.0 26.0
Culture, Media and Sport 1.0 0.0 3.0 4.0
Health 310.0 610.0 740.0 690.0
Social Security 87.0 264.0 166.0 20.0

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the major source of labour market data on individuals. It can provide information on the number of days employees were unable to work in the week that they were surveyed. However, as this number of days can also include some when the respondent would not normally work, no accurate estimate of the total number of working days lost in a year can be calculated. No other official source can provide the information requested. The available information is shown in the table. The table is based on the average of the latest four quarters and shows the rate per 1000 employees.

Employees absent for at least one day in the reference week due to sickness or injury, by whether working in the public or private sector1 (UK, average of autumn 1998 to summer 1999, not seasonally adjusted)
1Rate per 1000 employees
All employees2 46.5
Private sector 44.1
Public sector 53.4
1 Rates are based on totals that exclude people who did not state if they took a day off in the reference week due to sickness
2 Includes some people who did not state if they worked in the public or private sector.
3 Sector of employment is based on respondent's self-assessment.


Labour Force Survey