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Department for Work and Pensions: Sick Leave

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th March 2016.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many officials of his Department took sick leave for reasons relating to stress in each of the last five years; and what proportion of (a) his Department's staff and (b) total sick leave the sick leave of such officials represented in each such year.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

DWP has succeeded in reducing sickness absence from an annual average of 11.1 days per employee in 2007 to 6.18 days per employee currently. This is one of the lowest rates across the public sector.

Our Attendance Management policy is supportive and we are committed to helping our people maintain good health. DWP is committed to improving mental ill health, including stress.

We support employees through access to comprehensive stress risk assessments, Occupational Health services, and our Employee Assistance Programme. DWP is currently introducing Mental Health First Aid to further add to the support available.

The number of employees with a sickness absence reason of ‘stress’ over the last 5 years is shown below:


Number of employees with sickness absence recorded as ‘Stress’

Number of employees with sickness absence reason recorded as ‘stress’ as % of end of year headcount*

Number of working days lost recorded as ‘stress’ as % of all working days lost due to sickness absence

Jan-Dec 15




Jan-Dec 14




Jan-Dec 13




Jan-Dec 12




Jan-Dec 11




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