To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what initiatives his Department is taking to reduce the numbers of sick days taken by staff in the Department.
Sickness absence is managed as part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's objective of continually seeking ways to improve the health and welfare of its staff in a sensitive and supportive way. While recognising that staff should return to work only when they are fit and ready to do so, we are committed to managing sickness absence effectively.
To improve the effective management of sickness absence in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, we are improving the mechanism used for collecting, analysing and monitoring sickness absences. Workshops for staff have commenced so that they can better understand the sickness absence procedures. In addition, we will promulgate the recommendations identified by the Ministerial Taskforce in their "Managing Attendance in the Public Sector Delivery Plan". A copy of the report can be found at www.hse-databases.co.uk/gse/sickness.pdf