HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 c58W
Mr. Heald

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many days of sick leave were taken in his Department last year; how many related to employees suffering(a) stress and (b) other mental health problems; and what the cost was to his Department. [56476]

Jane Kennedy

The Cabinet Office publishes an annual report entitled "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service". The most recently published figures are for the calendar year 2000. For home civil servants (HCS) in the Northern Ireland Office the working days absence per staff year were as follows:

  • Certified sick absence—7.5
  • Self-certified—1.8
  • Total—9.3

Figures are not held in a comparable format for the Northern Ireland civil servants (NICS).

The number of days relating to stress and other mental health problems and the cost could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to the effective management of sick absence and our current service delivery agreement (SDA) sets out our proposal to reduce sickness absence rates over the planning period for HCS staff. It will seek similar reductions for the NICS group in the Department in conjunction with other Northern Ireland Departments.

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