Department for Work and Pensions to pay staff for not pulling a sickie

The government is to pay bonuses to civil servants who turn up for work rather than pulling a sickie, according to newspaper reports.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister Lord Hunt said cash incentives are planned as part of attempts to tackle high levels of public sector absenteeism, reports the Telegraph.

The 134,820 civil servants staffing the DWP’s Jobcentres, pension offices, Child Support Agency and Health and Safety Executive, have one of the highest sickness rates in government. They take an average of 12.6 days off work a year at a cost of £100m to the taxpayer.

Hunt said: “I certainly think using incentives is a good thing and we at the DWP, as part of this process, got some money allocated towards some incentive schemes.”

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development estimated that the average for the public sector is 10.3 days a year, and is far worse than the private sector average of 6.8 days.

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