To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many and what proportion of officials in his Department took sick leave for reasons relating to stress in the last 12 months; what proportion that leave was of total sick leave taken in his Department; and what the cost was to his Department of officials taking sick leave over that period.
The number of employees in the Department for International Trade from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 who were absent due to mental health reasons including stress was 39. This represented approximately 1% of employees. The proportion of sickness absence related to stress related reasons was 8.6% of the overall sickness absence for the department for the same time period.
Recorded sickness absence figures include employees working in the UK and overseas and for UK Export Finance. They do not include contractors, secondees from other organisations or military staff.
The estimated cost to the department from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 for employees taking sickness absence due to mental health reasons, including stress is estimated at £116,920.
DIT continues to recognise and take seriously the wellbeing of its employees. DIT has in place policies and processes to identify, prevent and manage stress. The DIT policies introduced the provision of mental health first aiders who can provide a range of support to both employees and managers including access to our Employee Counselling Service.