Government Departments: Staff Absence

House of Lords written question – answered on 13th May 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Shadow Minister (Community Cohesion), Communities and Local Government

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the rates of staff (a) absence, and (b) sickness absence, were at (1) the Department for Work and Pensions, and (2) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, in each of the past three years; and what the targets for the department were in each case.

Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government)

The information requested for the Department for Work and Pensions, its agencies and 16 non-departmental public bodies is either not available or not held centrally. It cannot be provided completely or at a proportionate cost.

Information about sickness absence rates is readily available. The data are recorded by managers and in most instances rely on details provided by employees. Information for the year 2006-07 was published by the Cabinet Office and can be obtained at the following internet address: Absence_2006to2007_tcm6-2515.pdf.

Information currently recorded on the department's personnel computer for 2007-08 and 2008-09 is shown below.

The department has a single target for reducing sickness absence to an average of 7.7 days per staff year by April 2010.

Average Sickness Absence Rate per Staff Year
Department for Work and Pensions 10.1
Jobcentre Plus 10.1
Child Support Agency* 12.4
The Pension Service 9.7
Disability and Carers Service 10.6

* Child Support Agency became a non-departmental public body in 2008-09

Average Sickness Absence Rate per Staff Year
Department for Work and Pensions 8.9
Jobcentre Plus 9.3
The Pension Service 9.2
Disability and Carers Service 9.0

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