Written answers

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Departmental Staff

5:00 pm

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Question 100: To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform 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. [31568/12]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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The management of sick leave is taken most seriously in my Department , and the procedures in place, and entitlements to sick leave (including the applicable limits) are set out in the Department of Finance Circular 09/2010 -Management of Sick Leave.

Sick leave absences and any patterns emerging are monitored and analysed through my Department's Human Resources Management System (HRMS),using standardised reporting tools that are utilised across the entire civil service. As per the guidelines in Circular 09/2010, local managers are supported by Human Resources (HR) to hold regular sick leave review meetings with staff as required as well as resumption of work meetings with staff following longer-term sick absence(s). All long - term sick leave cases, i.e. absences greater than four weeks, are automatically referred to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for advice on how to proceed with the management of these cases. The services of the newly reorganised Employee Assistance Service are also available to all staff in my Department to assist them with any medical (or related issues) for which they may require support.

Reports on the financial cost of sick leave are run biannually from my Department's HRMS. My Department was established in July 2011 and in the period July 2011-December 2011, 419 sick days have been recorded at a cost of €76,928. The relevant information for the first half of 2012 will be available shortly, and these figures will be forwarded to the Deputy from my Department as soon as they are to hand.

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