§ Mr. Matthew Taylor
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the level of absenteeism was in(a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its related public bodies in the last year for which figures are available; what his estimate is of the total cost of this level of absenteeism to public funds in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
[holding answer 18 July 2000]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 11 May 2000, Official Report, column 434W. The latest published departmental statistics on sickness absence were given in the report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service 1998" prepared by BMI Health Service Ltd.
Information on costs for the last five years is not available on a departmental basis and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.1022W
In line with the work on reducing absence following the July 1998 report "Managing Attendance in the Public Sector", the civil service has a whole as a target to reduce absence by 20 per cent. by 2001 and 30 per cent. by 2003.