Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (122)

Simon Harris


122 Deputy Simon Harris asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the procedures in place to manage sick leave in all agencies, offices or other bodies reporting to his Department, separate to individuals working directly for his Department; the combined number of sick days taken by staff in the agencies, offices or other bodies reporting to 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. [32563/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

My Department introduced an Attendance Management Policy in March 2011 which applies to all staff of the Department and its associated Offices. The policy is based on Department of Finance Circular 09/2010 on the Management of Sick Leave. It sets out clear procedures for reporting, recording and management of sick leave and is intended to help managers adopt best practice approaches to attendance management. It seeks to encourage excellent attendance while clearly acknowledging the need for staff to take sick leave when unwell.

The granting of sick leave and whether it is with or without pay is a matter for the Department. In accordance with the Sick Leave regulations staff members may be granted up to 7 days uncertified sick leave in a twelve month period. Full pay may be allowed up to a maximum of six months in one year and half pay thereafter subject to a maximum of twelve months sick leave in any period of four years. Where sick leave with pay is exhausted a staff member may be granted sick leave with pension rate of pay subject to the condition that there is a reasonable prospect of resumption of duty with ability to render efficient service.

A total of 9,723 person days sick leave was taken by staff in my Department and associated Offices in 2011 at a cost of €1,398,863. In the first quarter of 2012 staff of my Department and associated Offices took a total of 2,454 person days sick leave at a cost of €394,358. When staff on half pay and pension rate of pay due to long term sick leave are excluded, the number of person days sick leave taken by staff of my Department and its Offices in 2011 was 8,166 and the provisional number of days for the first quarter of 2012 was 2,392.5. With regard to the Agencies, the management of sick leave is a day to day matter for the Agencies and I have asked each Agency to contact the Deputy directly in response.