26/09/2018

NI Civil Service Sick Leave Reaches Highest Level In A Decade

Northern Ireland civil servants have taken an average 13 days of sick leave this year, reaching its highest level since 2008/09.

The averages, compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), show an increase from last year's 12.5 days.

In salary terms, this equated to an estimated £33.8 million of lost production - equivalent to around 4.0% of the total NICS pay bill in 2017/2018.
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Less than half of staff had no recorded absence in the last year, with many employees absent due to cold, cough, flu or influenza illnesses.

Anxiety, stress, depression and other psychiatric illnesses accounted for the majority of absences with 36.4%. Work stress accounted for a third of this category.

Over one in every eight staff had at least one spell of long-term absence, lasting around three months on average. This was the highest level of long-term absence observed in the last five years, and accounted for nearly three quarters of all working days lost.

Despite a spike in numbers, the figures are lower than the peak of 15.5 days recorded in 2003/2004.

(CM)

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