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Written Question
Department for Work and Pensions: Lost Working Days
Monday 1st March 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions,what the Average Working Days Lost was for civil servants in her Department who have (a) declared themselves as having a disability and (b) not declared themselves to have a disability in the calendar year (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Answered by Guy Opperman - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department only holds information relating to its own staff. Average working days lost figures are calculated on rolling year to date basis, therefore the following data relate to the year to 31 December. Due to the way that data is structured in our systems we do not hold this data in the format requested and it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Dec-20

Disabled

9.16

Non Disabled

5.07

Unknown

5.72


Written Question
Department for Work and Pensions: Lost Working Days
Monday 1st March 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the Average Working Days Lost was for civil servants in her Department (a) aged 30 and younger, (b) 30 to 50, (c) 50 to 60 and (d) over 60 in the calendar year (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Answered by Guy Opperman - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department only holds information relating to its own staff. Average working days lost figures are calculated on rolling year to date basis, therefore the following data relates to the rolling year to 31 December.

Dec-19

Dec-20

29 and Younger

8.08

4.85

30 to 49

7.80

5.36

50 to 59

8.11

5.87

60 and Over

9.83

7.17

Other

0.00

0.00


Written Question
Department for Work and Pensions: Lost Working Days
Monday 1st March 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the Average Working Days Lost was for civil servants in her Department (a) from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and (b) recording themselves as White in the calendar year (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

Answered by Guy Opperman - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department only holds information relating to its own staff. Average working days lost figures are calculated on rolling year to date basis, therefore the following data relate to the year to 31 December. Due to the way that data is structured in our systems we do not hold this data in the format requested and it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Declaration of ethnicity is not mandatory, however as at December 2020, 87.8 per cent of staff have declared their ethnicity.

Dec-20

Ethnic Minority

5.35

White

5.57

Unknown

6.13


Written Question
Department for Work and Pensions: Lost Working Days
Thursday 25th February 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average number of working days lost (AWDL) was for (a) female and (b) male civil servants in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Answered by Guy Opperman - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department only holds information relating to its own staff. Average working days lost figures are calculated on rolling year to date basis, therefore the following data relate to the year to 31 December.

Female

Male

Dec-19

8.91

6.89

Dec-20

6.24

4.88


Written Question
Treasury: Sick Leave
Wednesday 13th January 2021

Asked by: Anneliese Dodds (Labour (Co-op) - Oxford East)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many working days have been lost to staff sickness in his Department in each month of the last five years, by directorate.

Answered by Kemi Badenoch - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (jointly with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

We do not report on sick days monthly, we do however have a return that we do annually. The number of sick days by directorate in each of the last 5 years can be found in the following tables:

2015/16

Directorate

Sick Days

Business and International Tax

135

Corporate Centre

657

Economics

107

Enterprise & Growth

61

Financial Services

270

Financial Stability

71

Fiscal

103

International

428

IUK

127

Ministerial & Communications

148

National Infrastructure Commission

Fewer than 5

Personal Tax, Welfare & Pensions

207

Public Services

345

Public Spending

227

Strategy, Planning & Budget

68

Treasury Legal Advisors

Fewer than 5

Department

2954

2016/17

Directorate

Sick Days

Business and International Tax

172.5

Corporate Centre

668.5

Economics

102

Enterprise & Growth

76

Financial Services

291

Financial Stability

131.5

Fiscal

68.5

International

318.5

IUK

Fewer than 5

Ministerial & Communications

211

National Infrastructure Commission

27

Personal Tax, Welfare & Pensions

504.5

Public Services

272

Public Spending

190.5

Strategy, Planning & Budget

99

Treasury Legal Advisors

Fewer than 5

Department

3132.5

2017/18

Directorate

Sick Days

Business and International Tax

103

Corporate Centre

595

Economics

119

Enterprise & Growth

133

Financial Services

400

Financial Stability

213.5

Fiscal

250

International

425.5

Ministerial & Communications

347.5

Personal Tax, Welfare & Pensions

178.5

Public Services

190

Public Spending

180.5

Strategy, Planning & Budget

71.5

Treasury Legal Advisors

Fewer than 5

Department

3207

2018/19

Directorate

Sick Days

Business and International Tax

170.5

Corporate Centre

850

Economics

108.5

Enterprise & Growth

116.5

Financial Services

578.5

Financial Stability

135

Fiscal

174.5

International

437.5

Ministerial & Communications

148

Personal Tax, Welfare & Pensions

259

Public Services

268.5

Public Spending

342.5

Strategy, Planning & Budget

50

Department

3639

2019/20

Directorate

Sick Days

Business and International Tax

245

Corporate Centre

906.5

Economics

366

Enterprise & Growth

176.5

Financial Services

490.5

Financial Stability

132.5

Fiscal

241

International

607

Ministerial & Communications

326.5

Personal Tax, Welfare & Pensions

176

Public Services

366

Public Spending

602

Strategy, Planning & Budget

71

Department

4706.5

HM Treasury takes the wellness of its staff seriously. Wellness is incorporated within the Treasury’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing policy. Every quarter, staff complete pulse surveys to assess progress against wellbeing criteria from the annual People Survey. Directors and Deputy Directors take action relating to these results to improve their staff’s wellbeing and stress levels.

HM Treasury has the following support in place for those that are suffering due to stress:

  • Stress and Mental Health Awareness elearning – learn about stress, what the stressors can be and how to identify and lessen stress
  • Stress risk assessment used to identify stressors and implement controls to help reduce/eliminate the stress
  • Workplace Adjustments including flexible working
  • Stress Management guidance
  • Tips to help reduce stress
  • Mental Health First Aiders
  • Employee Assistance Programme – this is a confidential 24/7 helpline that can offer point people to where
  • Occupational Health provision
  • Mental Wellbeing Network
  • Treasury Supporters, who are employees, trained to help colleagues work through any concerns, however serious whatever their cause
  • Wellness Action Plans
  • Time to Talk Workshops
  • HR Advisers and Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team.

Written Question
Universal Credit
Thursday 30th January 2020

Asked by: Neil Gray (Scottish National Party - Airdrie and Shotts)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the five-week wait for a first payment of universal credit on levels of poverty.

Answered by Will Quince - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

No one has to wait five weeks for their first payment of Universal Credit. New claim advances are available to support those in financial need until their first payment is made. The Department has learnt from where we did not get things right in the past in the legacy benefit system. Too often, the desire to pay quickly meant claimants not receiving their correct entitlement as we did not have an appropriate timeframe to review household circumstances.

Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months. We have announced that from October 2021, the repayment period for these advances will be extended further, to 16 months. Proposed repayments of the advance are explained, and all claimants are advised to request a level of advance which is manageable both now and when considering the repayments required.

The best way to help people improve their lives is through employment. Households where all adults are in work are around 6 times less likely to be in relative poverty than adults in a household where nobody works. This improves further if all the adults are working full time, reducing a child’s risk of being in poverty from 66% for (two-parent) families with only part-time work to 7%. Universal Credit allows households the freedom from the ‘cliff edges’ which featured in the legacy benefits system, where money was lost when working more than 16, 24 or 30 hours.

There are many reasons people use foodbanks and their growth cannot be linked to a single cause. We have listened to feedback on how we can support our Universal Credit claimants and acted quickly, making improvements such as removing waiting days and introducing housing benefit run on. These changes are giving support to vulnerable people who need it most, whilst at the same time helping people get into work faster.


Written Question
Universal Credit
Thursday 30th January 2020

Asked by: Neil Gray (Scottish National Party - Airdrie and Shotts)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the five-week wait for a first payment of universal credit on levels of foodbank use.

Answered by Will Quince - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

No one has to wait five weeks for their first payment of Universal Credit. New claim advances are available to support those in financial need until their first payment is made. The Department has learnt from where we did not get things right in the past in the legacy benefit system. Too often, the desire to pay quickly meant claimants not receiving their correct entitlement as we did not have an appropriate timeframe to review household circumstances.

Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months. We have announced that from October 2021, the repayment period for these advances will be extended further, to 16 months. Proposed repayments of the advance are explained, and all claimants are advised to request a level of advance which is manageable both now and when considering the repayments required.

The best way to help people improve their lives is through employment. Households where all adults are in work are around 6 times less likely to be in relative poverty than adults in a household where nobody works. This improves further if all the adults are working full time, reducing a child’s risk of being in poverty from 66% for (two-parent) families with only part-time work to 7%. Universal Credit allows households the freedom from the ‘cliff edges’ which featured in the legacy benefits system, where money was lost when working more than 16, 24 or 30 hours.

There are many reasons people use foodbanks and their growth cannot be linked to a single cause. We have listened to feedback on how we can support our Universal Credit claimants and acted quickly, making improvements such as removing waiting days and introducing housing benefit run on. These changes are giving support to vulnerable people who need it most, whilst at the same time helping people get into work faster.


Written Question
Universal Credit: Scotland
Thursday 30th January 2020

Asked by: Neil Gray (Scottish National Party - Airdrie and Shotts)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the five-week wait for a first payment of universal credit on levels of poverty in (a) Airdrie and Shotts constituency and (b) Scotland.

Answered by Will Quince - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

No one has to wait five weeks for their first payment of Universal Credit. New claim advances are available to support those in financial need until their first payment is made. The Department has learnt from where we did not get things right in the past in the legacy benefit system. Too often, the desire to pay quickly meant claimants not receiving their correct entitlement as we did not have an appropriate timeframe to review household circumstances.

Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months. We have announced that from October 2021, the repayment period for these advances will be extended further, to 16 months. Proposed repayments of the advance are explained, and all claimants are advised to request a level of advance which is manageable both now and when considering the repayments required.

The best way to help people improve their lives is through employment. Households where all adults are in work are around 6 times less likely to be in relative poverty than adults in a household where nobody works. This improves further if all the adults are working full time, reducing a child’s risk of being in poverty from 66% for (two-parent) families with only part-time work to 7%. Universal Credit allows households the freedom from the ‘cliff edges’ which featured in the legacy benefits system, where money was lost when working more than 16, 24 or 30 hours.

There are many reasons people use foodbanks and their growth cannot be linked to a single cause. We have listened to feedback on how we can support our Universal Credit claimants and acted quickly, making improvements such as removing waiting days and introducing housing benefit run on. These changes are giving support to vulnerable people who need it most, whilst at the same time helping people get into work faster.


Written Question
Department for Work and Pensions: Sick Leave
Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Asked by: Tom Brake (Liberal Democrat - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of officials in her Department took sick leave for reasons relating to stress in the last 12 months; what proportion that leave was of total sick leave taken in her Department; and what the cost was to her Department of officials taking sick leave over that period.

Answered by Will Quince - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

The Department recognises its legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of our employees; this includes identifying and reducing workplace stressors. Our approach is a holistic one that utilises the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards for work related stress and follows key principles to help identify and reduce work place stressors.

2,473 employees took sick leave for reasons relating to stress in the last 12 months which represents 3% of our paid staff. As a percentage, such absences equated to 10.7% of all Working Days Lost due to sickness absence. However, as the Department continues to pay salaries during sickness absence there is no direct financial cost.

Our approach to absence is fair but robust with the emphasis on health promotion and absence prevention. The Department has a range of support from mental health toolkits, stress reduction plans plus tailored support for people who do go off sick or need support through our Employee Assistance Programme which includes counselling.

The Department has 965 Mental Health First Aiders, who provide acute, short-term and structured support to individuals, provide reassurance and signpost colleagues to both DWP and external sources of support as appropriate. Mental Health First Aiders are also provided with continuous professional development and support for their own mental wellbeing.


Written Question
Sick Leave: Stress
Monday 15th April 2019

Asked by: Jo Stevens (Labour - Cardiff Central)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of working days lost to stress in 2018.

Answered by Justin Tomlinson

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that in 2017 14.3 million working days were lost in the UK to stress, depression and anxiety. Data for 2018 is not yet available.

Data is available on sickness absence at https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/sicknessabsenceinthelabourmarket