Written answers

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Department of Social Protection

Illness Benefit Scheme

9:00 pm

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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Question 141: To ask the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details on the number of sick days taken by public sector employees across the civil and public service in 2009 and 2010 respectively; the total cost to her in the provision of illness benefit payments and other associated costs to the Exchequer in respect of these workers for the respective years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27899/11]

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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Question 142: To ask the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details on the number of sick days taken by private sector employees in 2009 and 2010 respectively; the total cost to her in the provision of illness benefit payments in respect of these workers in the respective years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27900/11]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 and 142 together.

The Department does not separately record the number of sick days taken by public sector or private sector employees. It operates the illness benefit scheme which is a payment for insured people who cannot work due to illness. A person, whether employed in the public or private sector, may qualify for illness benefit if s/he is unable to work due to illness, satisfies the Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) conditions, and is under age 66.

It is not possible to determine the number of illness benefit claim paid days in respect of public sector employees as opposed to private sector employees. An analysis carried out by the Department as a once-off exercise indicated that, in 2010, illness benefit was paid in respect of 25.9 million claim days arising from claims from across the public and private sectors. The average duration of illness benefit claims closed in the years 2009 and 2010 was 10 weeks. In 2009 total expenditure on illness benefit was €919.7m and in 2010 it was €942.8m.

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