To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in his Department have had (a) five or more, (b) four, (c) three and (d) two periods of sick leave of less than five days in each of the last three years.
The number of staff in Defra, the State Veterinary Service, the Marine Fisheries Agency and the Government Decontamination Service that had two or more periods of sickness absence of fewer than five days in 2005 was as follows:
|Number of periods of absence||Number of staff|
|(a) 5 or more||633|
Data on sickness absences for Defra's other Executive Agencies are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Data for other years are unavailable.
In Defra, managers are responsible for managing sick absence levels and encouraging a working environment where people want to come to work and where they support each other. They discuss each occasion of absence with the employee upon their return to work to determine any action or individual support needs. A new contract for the provision of occupational health services ensures that assistance is available to managers who have particular concerns over an individual's general health or sickness absence.