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Ministry of Defence: Sick Leave

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 173647, tabled on 11 September 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of days of sick leave taken by staff in his Department for mental health reasons in each year since 2010.

Answered on

19 September 2018

The requested information is provided in the table below:

Ministry of Defence (MOD) Civilian Personnel, number of working days (Full Time Equivalent) lost to Mental and Behavioural Disorders (International Classification of Diseases (ICD), version 10, PSD)

Financial Year (FY)

Number of days of
Sickness due to
Absence code
ICD10 PSD

Total number of days lost to sickness absence (all reasons)

Proportion of Civilian
Personnel who had an
Absence code
ICD10 PSD

2007-08

126,180

648,440

19.5%

2008-09

108,260

596,100

18.2%

2009-10

102,390

591,740

17.3%

2010-11

99,570

553,810

18.0%

2011-12

98,350

512,350

19.2%

2012-13

81,280

439,010

18.5%

2013-14

84,030

406,390

20.7%

2014-15

87,070

403,500

21.6%

2015-16

78,770

361,480

21.8%

2016-17

74,420

356,620

20.9%

Notes: The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) (version 10) uses the ICD code PSD Mental and Behavioural Disorders to register medical conditions of stress. This code also covers other conditions within this category.

Figures exclude the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Locally Employed Civilians for whom no data is available.

The reduction in sick absence in FY 2012-13 is due to MOD personnel leaving the Department through a voluntary early release scheme.

Civilian Sickness Absence data has been published on the GOV.UK website since January 2016 and the latest available edition can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mod-civilian-sickness-absence-financial-year-201617.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes the health and wellbeing of its personnel very seriously. The Department’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy for all MOD employees, military and civilian, is designed to provide guidance to the Chain of Command and civilian line managers on how to manage the health needs, both mental and physical, of their people. The aim is to maximise the number of people fit to work, managing people back to work after a period of sickness, so that they are fit and able to meet the requirements of Defence outputs, including operational effectiveness. In 2017, the Department also launched its Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017 – 2022 with a four-step plan of implementation; promotion, prevention, detection and treatment.

All civilian staff can access the Department’s Employee Wellbeing Service which offers emotional support and advice on life events as well as counselling services. In addition, the Speak Safe helpline provides a safe space to discuss issues relating to bullying, harassment and discrimination. The Department also has over 2000 civilian and military Mental Health First Aiders, each of whom has completed a two-day course delivered in accordance with the requirements of Mental Health First Aid England (or equivalent).