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To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, how many and what proportion of his Department's staff have had days off sick because of mental illness or stress in each of the last three years; and how many days off that amounted to in each of those years.
As a new Department DExEU is not in a position to provide information prior to 2016/17. In 2016/17, no staff were off sick due to mental illness or stress and fewer than 10 individuals were absent in 2017/18 due to stress or mental health conditions and therefore the Department is not in a position to release this information as individuals may be identifiable.
The Civil Service has set out five priorities for the health and wellbeing of its employees, including priorities in relation to physical and mental wellbeing. In addition, the Civil Service has also committed to being a leading employer on mental health support, in line with the recommendations set out in the recently published independent review Thriving At Work.
Health and Wellbeing forms part of the Department for Exiting the European Union’s commitment to making the Department a great place to work. The Department is committed to reducing work related absence due to mental health illness and has a number of services and initiatives in place to support members of staff suffering from such conditions. To date 32 DExEU staff have been trained by Mental Health First Aid England as mental health champions and staff also have access to the Employee Assistance Programmes.
The Department has a dedicated mental health and wellbeing group who have been leading on a number of wellbeing activities across the Department to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of staff employed in the Department. This includes: in February 2017 the Department signed up to the Time for Change pledge to demonstrate the Department’s commitment to reducing the stigma attached to mental health, and marking world mental health day with a panel discussion sharing mental health and wellbeing experiences.