MPs have criticised the “amazingly high” levels of sick leave among staff at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Driving Standards Agency (DVLA).
The influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said that, on average, employees took 15 days a year off sick.
More than 1,000 employees at the DVLA took more than 21 days’ sick leave a year, with nine absent for the whole year.
Public accounts committee chairman Edward Leigh said sick leave within the two agencies seemed “to be a way of life”.
He added: “The fact that both agencies seem to function adequately despite this amazingly high rate of absence is matter for surprise, to say the least.”
The report follows a highly critical study, published in June by the government’s spending watchdog the National Audit Office, which calculated that staff sickness absence at the Department for Transport and its agencies averaged 10.4 days in 2005, costing the taxpayer around £24m a year.