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Sick Leave

Work and Pensions 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 Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to reduce sickness absence in his Department.

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

DWP has robust absence management policies, procedures and processes in place and has reduced sickness absence levels from a high of 11.1 days in March 2007 to 7.3 days in December 2012. The Department has a sickness absence target of 7.0 days to be achieved by April 2014 and will aim to meet it by:

Increasing employee awareness of the issue and raising awareness at senior management level;

Improving management understanding of the Department’s Attendance Management policy;

Ensuring compliance with the policy;

Continuously improving the policy to reflect best practice;

Ensuring quick decisions are taken on the basis of sound medical advice to end the contract of employment where there is no reasonable expectation of a return to work;

Improving management information;

Using occupational health creatively;

Embedding best practice by twinning the best and underperforming units;

Providing employees with access to a range of support services including employee counselling, physiotherapy and an online well-being programme; and

Introducing a new occupational sick pay policy for new employees where entitlement is earned over time.

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