Written answers

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Department of Education and Skills

Departmental Staff

5:00 pm

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Question 97: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the procedures in place to manage sick leave in his Department; the sick leave entitlement in place in his Department; the combined amount of sick days taken by staff in his Department in 2011 and to date in 2012; the financial cost of this sick leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31561/12]

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
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Over the last number of years my Department has introduced various measures to both monitor and manage sick leave. Since 2010 when an officer returns to work from a period of sick leave a return to work form must be completed by their immediate line manager and where necessary a return to work meeting is held. These forms are returned to Personnel Section and held on the individuals personnel file. Personnel Section closely monitors the forms being returned and if a pattern persists further action is taken.

Since late 2011, sick leave statistics are presented to the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) of my Department on a quarterly basis. Further statistical sick leave information is also being disseminated to individual Principal Offers/Managers in respect of their areas of responsibility.

Other measures currently in place to manage sick leave:

Absences of more than two days must be accompanied by a medical certificate and where appropriate the relevant Department of Social Protection certificates All absences in excess of four weeks are automatically referred to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Most long term absences have a further referral to the CMO after three months Personnel closely monitor cases where patterns have been identified Employee Assistance Service offered extensively One to one meeting with the Personnel Officer

The Department of Finance circular 25/78 governs the conditions that apply to sick leave for officials within the Civil Service. Under these conditions an official can at most take 7 uncertified sick days with pay within a 12 month period. However, my Department has a policy that in the event an official incurs 5 days uncertified, that a letter issues to the person concerned and reminds them of the conditions governing sick leave and the implications it can have in relation to the award of salary increments and promotion.

Since 2010, my Department makes a biannual sick leave return to the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform outlining the sick leave taken by staff in the Department and the cost of same. The two returns for 2011 follow. However, the return for the six months to June 2012 has not yet been compiled. I will have the return forwarded to the Deputy once it is available.

Sick Leave Return Department of Education & Skills – 6 months to June 2011

Standard Framework for Reporting on Sickness Absence
Sick DaysDescription of Calculations Calculations
(A) No. of sick daysTotal no. of days lost to sick absence7,864.01
Average no. of sick days per FTE(A) divided by the total no. of FTEs6.17
No. of sick days per employee who availed of sick leave(A) divided by the total no of employees reported as availing of sick leave10.74
Average no. of sick days per employee(A) divided by the total no. of employees serving5.79
(B) No. of certified sick days(A) marked as certified sick leave7,214
( C )No. of uncertified sick days(A) self reported by officers650.01
Lost time rate(A) divided by the total no. of days in a standard working year (multiplied by number of FTEs) and represented as a percentage5.61%
Instances
(D) Total no. of instances 1, 528.00
No. of instances per employee(D) divided by total no. of employees serving1.12
Average no. of instances per FTE(D) divided by total no. of FTEs1.13
Average length of each instance(A) divided by (D)5.46
(E) No. of certified instances 1,103
Average length of each certified instance(B) divided by (E)6.54
(F) No. of uncertified instances 425
Average length of uncertified sick instance (days)( C ) divided by (F)1.52
Cost of Absences
Overall cost of absences €1,021,770
Cost of certified absences €937,315
Cost of uncertified absences €84,455

Full-time equivalent employees.

Sick Leave Return Department of Education & Skills – 6 months to December 2011

Standard Framework for Reporting on Sickness Absence
Sick DaysDescription of Calculations Calculations
(A) No. of sick daysTotal no. of days lost to sick absence7618.1
Average no. of sick days per FTE(A) divided by the total no. of FTEs6.07
No. of sick days per employee who availed of sick leave(A) divided by the total no of employees reported as availing of sick leave11.39
Average no. of sick days per employee(A) divided by the total no. of employees serving5.72
(B) No. of certified sick days(A) marked as certified sick leave7047.46
( C )No. of uncertified sick days(A) self reported by officers570.64
Lost time rate(A) divided by the total no. of days in a standard working year (multiplied by number of FTEs) and represented as a percentage5.52%
Instances
(D) Total no. of instances 1351
No. of instances per employee(D) divided by total no. of employees serving1.01
Average no. of instances per FTE(D) divided by total no. of FTEs1.08
Average length of each instance(A) divided by (D)5.64
(E) No. of certified instances 876
Average length of each certified instance(B) divided by (E)8.05
(F) No. of uncertified instances 475
Average length of uncertified sick instance (days)( C ) divided by (F)1.20
Cost of Absences
Overall cost of absences €932,531.62
Cost of certified absences €862,679.58
Cost of uncertified absences €69,852.04

2 Full-time equivalent employees.

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