Armed Forces: Sick Leave

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of level of sickness absence among women in the armed forces in the latest period for which figures are available.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes the health and wellbeing of its personnel very seriously. A Health and Wellbeing Strategy for all MOD employees, military and civilian, was published in mid-2015 (updated in August 2016) and is designed to provide guidance to the Chain of Command and civilian line managers on how to manage the health needs, both mental and physical, of their people. The aim is to maximise the number of people fit to work, managing people back to work after a period of sickness, so that they are fit and able to meet the requirements of Defence outputs, including operational effectiveness.

Whilst the MOD records the medical employability and deployability of Service personnel, more specific information about the level of sickness absence among women - or men - in the Armed Forces is not held centrally. As at 1 May 2019, medical employability for the trained UK Armed Forces was 98 per cent, with a male:female split of 98:97% respectively.

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