Investigation ordered in ‘sickies’ culture

An
investigation into why job centre workers and benefits staff take almost twice
as many days off sick as employees outside Whitehall has been ordered.

The
Financial Times reports that the 120,000 officials in the Department for Work
and Pensions average 12.9 days a year off ill, compared with an estimated 6.7
days for private sector workers.

Minister
for Work Nick Brown has now pledged to tackle the ‘sickies’ culture.

But,
he said, within his department there are big variations in illness rates –
employees at one unnamed Jobcentre Plus office took an average 20 days off sick
in 2001.

By Quentin Reade

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