DWP reduces sickness absence levels

DWP consultation

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has cut its sickness absence levels from 7.39 per employee per year in March 2013, to 6.87 days per employee per year at March 2014

If the DWP has not reduced its average working days lost due to sickness from its April 2013 levels, this would be costing the DWP an extra £3.4million in sick pay.

In 2014/15, the DWP intends to continue to reduce sickness absence by making best use of its occupational health service and employee assistance programme (EAP).

The DWP has also pledged to launch a new wellbeing service, progress its work-life balance agenda and promote the physical and psychological benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

It hopes to achieve this by supporting the Civil Service Physical Activity Challenge, encouraging employees to take part in a walking challenge and supporting the government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal.

In its Annual report 2013/14, Robert Devereux, DWP permanent secretary, said: ”I am pelased to say that by providing a healthy, safe and supportive environment in which to work, we have not only seen a reduction in the number of incidents to our people, but also reduced the average days lost to sickness to 6.87 days per staff per year, the lowest it’s ever been, and, for the first time, we are better than the private sector.”