HC Deb 01 May 2003 vol 404 c453W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff in his Department were on long term sick leave in each of the last five years. [109245]

Dr. Moonie

The number of non industrial staff in the Ministry of Defence who were on long term sick leave in each of the last five years are as follows:

Year Number of staff
1999 3,304
2000 3,411
2002 3,993

Long term sickness is defined as staff who have been on sick leave for a spell of 30 calendar days or more. Due to data inaccuracies, the figures for 1998 and 2001 cannot be given. Figures are not currently available for industrial staff.

A programme of measures is being implemented to help meet the target in MOD's Service Delivery Agreement to reduce sickness absence to 7.0 days by the end of 2003 (target adjusted following the reorganisation of Government Departments in 2000). This includes a regular audit of long term sick cases. MOD is committed to improving the health of its staff and managing sick absence more effectively.