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Sick Leave

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Conservative, Nuneaton

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to reduce sickness absence in his Department.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has taken a wide range of steps to reduce sickness absence, including promoting good health to the workforce though various health interventions and health information campaigns.

DECC has one of the lowest sickness absence rates in Whitehall and over the past 12 months our average working days lost has reduced from 4.7 to 2.7 per year.

Some examples of promoting good health include:

Wellbeing Days where a variety of health topics are covered, such as 'Back Awareness' and 'Healthy Eating and Nutritional advice'

Self service health kiosk where staff gain key health metrics, including weight, body mass index, body fat content, heart rate, blood pressure. Results from the kiosk have allowed previously unknown potential health concerns to be followed up by staff with their GP and review their progress on known concerns

Free of charge flu vaccinations for staff to help reduce the likelihood of this cause of absence

E-learning training courses on Stress Awareness and on correct use of Display Screen Equipment.

Information is regularly provided on various health related topics including how to lower the risk of contracting the Norovirus and Department of Health campaigns such as 'Quit Kit' for stopping smoking.

Line Managers hold back to work interviews with staff returning from sickness absence. The interview will be used to discuss any necessary interventions such as a medical referral, adjustments to work station, work pattern, duties etc. to ensure their return is successful.

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