Written answers

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Departmental Staff

5:00 pm

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Question 195: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government 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. [31562/12]

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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Entitlements and provisions in relation to sick leave are set out in the relevant sick leave circulars issued by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Measures that have been put in place in my Department to monitor and manage sick leave include the following:

· On foot of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circular 09 of 2010, which provides for a general framework for the management of sick leave, my Department prepared and issued Sick Leave Guidelines to give clear guidelines to managers on effectively managing staff sick leave.

· Staff at HEO level and equivalent grades have recently completed Human Resources Training for line managers, which included practical examples and practical guidance on attendance management. This training is now being extended to staff at Assistant Principal Officer level.

· My Department has systems in place for the monitoring and recording of sick leave absences with a particular focus and appropriate follow-up action on uncertified/ certified sick leave thresholds.

· Staff that are absent for more than 4 weeks are routinely referred to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and long term absentees must also receive CMO clearance to return to work. My Department regularly liaises with the CMO on how best to manage difficult cases.

· My Department's Employee Assistance Officer is available to give support and advice on all matters including sick leave a confidential basis.

· My Department has a Disability Liaison Officer who is available to assist staff with disabilities.

The total number of sick leave days taken by staff in my Department in 2011 was 7,304 and the cost of absenteeism was approximately €1.236m in 2011. For 2012, the most up to date figures available are for the first quarter (January to March 2012). Over this period the total number of sick leave days taken by staff was 1,623 days with a total cost of approximately €270,000.


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