Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th September 2013.

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Photo of Michael Dugher Michael Dugher Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the rates of staff (a) absence and (b) sickness absence in his Department in each of the past five years were; and what the departmental targets were in each case.

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

In accordance with cross government arrangements; DWP reports sick leave expressed as average working days lost (AWDL) per employee per year. The following table provides AWDL data and targets for the last five performance years.

  AWDL Target
2012-13 (1)7.3 7.0
2011-12 7.3 7.0
2010-11 8.1 7.7
2009-10 8.5 7.7
2008-09 8.9 7.7
(1 )This figure does not include Child Maintenance Group who joined the Department in August 2012.

DWP has succeeded in cutting sickness absence from an annual average of 11.1 days per employee in 2007 to 7.4 days per employee currently. As a result, we are spending around £26 million per year less on sick pay and saving time which is the equivalent of employing around 1,500 extra employees.

DWP does not report an employee absence rate, in line with cross government arrangements. Leave entitlement is not recorded centrally and to calculate an employee absence rate would incur disproportionate costs.

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