National Probation Service for England and Wales: Sick Leave

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 23rd June 2015.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Labour, Wentworth and Dearne

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many days' absence due to sickness of staff working for the National Probation Service there were in each month since May 2010.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Prior to 1 June 2014, Probation services in England and Wales were delivered through 35 Probation Trusts. Sickness absence information for the Trusts was published in the Management Information Addendum to the NOMS Annual Report and Accounts in each year until 2013/14. Information on sickness absence, on a monthly basis is contained in the table below.

Annualised Average Working Days Lost in Probation Trusts - May 2010 to March 2014

Probation Service

Sickness Absence

Average Working Days Lost

May 2010 - March 2014

Month

Financial Year

FY 2010/11

FY 2011/12

FY 2012/13

FY 2013/14

April

-

7.6

9.2

9.5

May

8.1

8.3

10.4

9.0

June

8.5

9.2

8.6

8.2

July

8.7

9.0

10.2

9.6

August

8.7

9.0

10.2

8.8

September

9.9

9.7

9.7

9.6

October

10.5

10.0

12.1

11.0

November

10.9

11.1

11.6

10.5

December

12.0

9.9

9.7

10.4

January

10.2

10.4

11.7

11.3

February

9.2

10.4

9.9

9.9

March

9.6

10.5

9.5

10.0

Sickness absence is highly seasonal and therefore comparisons from month to month within a year are not helpful. Comparisons from the same month in successive years are the only reliable indicator of changes in absence levels.

All 35 Probation Trusts ceased to provide probation services from 1 June 2014 as a result of the change to the structure of probation. On that date both the National Probation Service and the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) were formed. Sickness absence information was published for the new organisations for the first time on 17 November 2014, in the management information release, “Management Information for Probation, 1 June – 30 September England & Wales”. This publication covered sickness absence data for the period from June to September 2014. The information published at that time is contained in the table below.

National Probation Service staff

Sickness Absence

Average Working Days Lost

June - September 2014

Jun-14

Jul-14

Aug-14

Sep-14

NPS

9.0

10.9

10.9

11.7

Note: Sickness absence information is subject to final cleaning at the end of the financial year so the information presented in the Management Information Addendum to the NOMS Annual Report and Accounts will differ from the information as it was published in November 2014.

The information in the table above relates to the four months immediately following the transition to the new probation structure. We take the health and wellbeing of probation staff extremely seriously and we recognise that the transition was a challenging time for them. Support arrangements were in place from the outset and staff continue to be supported.

Sickness absence for the whole of 2014/15 will be published on 30 July 2015 in the Management Information Addendum to the NOMS Annual Report and Accounts. This will address the as yet unpublished final period of probation trusts for April and May 2014, and for the NPS from October 2014 to March 2015.

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