Ministry of Justice: Sick Leave

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 20th September 2018.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour), Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of days of sick leave taken by staff in his Department for mental health reasons in each year since 2010.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Holding answer received on 18 September 2018

The number of staff recorded on a leave of absence from work for mental health reasons in each 12-month period of the last eight years is tabled below.

Sickness absence in MOJ staff due to mental and behavioural disorders1, 12 months to March 2013 to 12 months to 31 March 2018


Total working days2 lost due to mental & behavioural disorders

12 months to 31 March 20113

Not available

12 months to 31 March 20123

Not available

12 months to 31 March 2013


12 months to 31 March 2014


12 months to 31 March 2015


12 months to 31 March 2016


12 months to 31 March 20174


12 months to 31 March 2018


Includes stress related absences.

  1. Working days lost are calculated by taking the number of working days only between the start and the end of the sick leave within the 12-month period stated. Additional adjustments are made to take account of annual leave and bank holidays.
  2. Data between 01/04/2010 to 31/03/2012 is not available as file types are no longer supported. So far, no technical solution found. Manual sickness records for MoJ are not held beyond this point.
  3. Between January and March 2017, during migration of data to the Single Operating Platform, an under-recording of sickness absence records occurred. There is therefore likely to be an undercount of working days lost for the 12 months to 31 March 2017 and subsequent under-estimate of average working days lost.

This data includes staff employed by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Headquarters, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, HM Prison and Probation Service, Legal Aid Agency, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and Office of the Public Guardian. Individuals are included if they were absent for any part of the month. Where an absence straddles more than one month, it is included in each.

The MoJ is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all of its employees and to reducing sickness absence levels. The department’s wellbeing strategy is designed specifically to reflect the primary causes of sickness absence including mental health, and highlights support available to both employees and managers.

To support the strategy, Directors General in HMPPS and HMCTS were appointed as senior advocates for attendance management and wellbeing in MoJ. In addition, an MoJ Mental Health Allies Network has been initiated to offer support and signposting to staff on mental health issues.

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