Over one million sick days taken by staff across 55 taxpayer-funded quangos and public bodies last year - amid calls for a crack down on public sector workers taking excessive leave

Millions of days of sick leave were taken by staff at taxpayer-funded quangos and public bodies last year, the Mail can reveal.

Across 55 arms-length bodies funded by the Government, workers were absent for 1,206,341 days due to ill health - an average of 6.3 days per employee.

It is significantly higher than the previous 2021/22 year, when employees took 1,097,599 days off sick - an average of 5.9 days each.

The organisations with the highest average number of sick days taken last year include the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, at 13.7 days, and NHS Blood and Transplant at 12.9 days.

Staff took on average 7.8 sick days in 2022, up from 5.8 before the pandemic (stock photo)

Staff took on average 7.8 sick days in 2022, up from 5.8 before the pandemic (stock photo)

At HM Revenue and Customs, annual accounts showed 576,458 days being taken off, with another 142,442 at NHS England. Pictured, the HM Revenue and Customs building in Westminister

At HM Revenue and Customs, annual accounts showed 576,458 days being taken off, with another 142,442 at NHS England. Pictured, the HM Revenue and Customs building in Westminister

Read More

Britain suffers longest sick note epidemic for 25 years as 2.7MILLION people claim they are too ill to work and hold back country's economic growth

article image

It comes just weeks after Rishi Sunak vowed to end 'sick note culture' and reform the welfare system so people could get back to work.

Campaigners have now called on public sector bosses to crack down on staff taking excessive leave. In 2022, the public sector sickness rate was 3.6 per cent while the private sector rate was 2.3 per cent.

Joanna Marchong, investigations campaigns manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Taxpayers are tired of quangocrats blowing off working days.

'Sick leave in the public sector is consistently higher than the private sector and the cost to taxpayers is enough to give you a migraine.

'These organisations need to draw a hard line against employees taking advantage of sick leave.'

The Taxpayers' Alliance also raised concerns about the increase in sick days taken in the last 12 months (stock photo)

The Taxpayers' Alliance also raised concerns about the increase in sick days taken in the last 12 months (stock photo)

The analysis of the taxpayer-funded organisations lays bare the amount of wasted public money from sick leave taken in bodies with thousands of staff.

At HM Revenue and Customs, annual accounts showed 576,458 days being taken off, with another 142,442 at NHS England.

The Taxpayers' Alliance also raised concerns about the increase in sick days taken in the last 12 months.

At the Northern Ireland Office, 564 days were taken in 2022/23, compared to 283 the previous year - a 99 per cent rise. The Youth Justice Board saw a 65 per cent increase, while the National Gallery saw a sickness spike of 52 per cent year-on-year.

The average percentage increase of sick days across the 55 organisations was 8.9 per cent.

Last year a study for the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that UK workers are taking more sick days than at any point in the last decade.

Staff took on average 7.8 sick days in 2022, up from 5.8 before the pandemic.

The Prime Minister sought to address the issue in April, claiming that since the Covid pandemic 'something has gone wrong', and noting that 850,000 more people are now economically inactive in Britain.

He pledged a review of the current system and said specialist work and health professionals will be charged with responsibility for issuing sick notes instead of GPs.

Last year the Tories accused Labour of planning to create dozens of new quangos, including an Office for Value for Money and a National Wealth Fund.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: 'Many of the organisations listed do not employ civil servants, or employ mostly non-civil servants and are not governed by the civil service. These figures do not represent civil service sickness absence.'

An HMRC spokesman said: 'The latest available data from the Office for National Statistics shows central government to have lower rates of sickness than the private sector. Our employees are not expected to attend work if they are too ill to do so.'

An NHS England spokesman said: 'NHS England is below the national average for sickness absence.'

A HM Land Registry spokesman said: 'HM Land Registry is committed to the wellbeing of its staff. Our staff sickness level per person is broadly in line with the civil service average.'

OTHER NEWS

38 minutes ago

Liverpool leading Man Utd in race to sign 29 y/o free agent with talks held

38 minutes ago

Kennedy's ref collision tests Sharks' fullback depth

38 minutes ago

European allies praise Biden's decision to step aside

47 minutes ago

How Keely Hodgkinson can spark a ‘golden era’ for British athletics at Paris Olympics

47 minutes ago

Olympics 2024 live stream: How to watch every Paris event online and on TV

47 minutes ago

Lewis Hamilton accuses Max Verstappen of ‘hostility’ after crash in Hungary

49 minutes ago

Grim news for great Australian dream

49 minutes ago

How to get sparkling clean oven racks in 5 easy steps

49 minutes ago

Starmer praises Biden’s ‘remarkable career’ as PM promises to fix ‘fragmented and broken’ skills system - live

49 minutes ago

Strictly star Will Bayley says series left him with ‘horrific’ injury he’ll ‘never get over’

49 minutes ago

Volleyballer convicted of child rape faces Olympic isolation

49 minutes ago

Why Obama hasn’t endorsed Harris

49 minutes ago

A brief history of Kamala Harris and her politics

49 minutes ago

South32 share price crashes 10% on FY25 guidance downgrade

49 minutes ago

Stats - Ghosh breaks batting speed limits in India's first 200 in women's T20Is

49 minutes ago

Rattled by rising rates, 165,000 home owners may be forced to sell

49 minutes ago

UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar relishing 'golden age of cycling'

49 minutes ago

AfriForum approaches ConCourt to challenge John Hlophe’s appointment to the JSC

49 minutes ago

South Africans question government signing Pension Funds Amendment Bill into law: "More control?"

49 minutes ago

‘If I leave, the players, their kids and wives will also cry’ – Ramovic takes a jibe at Rulani

49 minutes ago

Gautng metros | High chance of ActionSA - ANC marriage in GP

49 minutes ago

Analyst discusses the outlook for chip manufacturing

49 minutes ago

Tipperary locals plead for ‘common sense’ over ‘hybrid’ centre for refugees and asylum-seekers at Dundrum hotel

49 minutes ago

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder and 3 star players who can replace Bongani Zungu at Mamelodi Sundowns this summer

49 minutes ago

'Betterment of Indian cricket is important, Gautam Gambhir is not important'

49 minutes ago

Ryanair misses profit estimates as airline warns of weaker summer fares as customers ‘more frugal’

49 minutes ago

Celebrity Net Worth: Gordon Ramsay invests $100 million in US cookware maker

49 minutes ago

Matildas stars show how unimpressed they are with one of their Paris Olympics outfits in hilarious video

49 minutes ago

The little-known reason why beanies have pom-poms at the top revealed - and it's not just for looks

49 minutes ago

The terrifying consequences of sleepwalking: Sleep scientist recalls terrifying 1988 case of a man who drove his car and murdered his mother-in-law without waking

49 minutes ago

The next Anthony Joshua? Team GB’s six boxers face daunting task at Paris Olympics

49 minutes ago

Why is Singapore’s recycling rate falling?

49 minutes ago

A Stock Market Rotation of Historic Proportions Is Taking Shape

49 minutes ago

Rosehill development plan a 'hijack': Gai Waterhouse

49 minutes ago

Patients who ask for doctors seen by physician associates instead, charity warns

49 minutes ago

Victoria Pendleton: ‘I’m a fair weather cyclist now’

49 minutes ago

Pressure mounts on Secret Service; agency had denied requests for extra Trump security

49 minutes ago

Health experts reveal the red flag symptom you should NEVER ignore - because it could be a sign of cancer and diabetes

53 minutes ago

Family and colleagues mourn Paul Trumper after FIFO electrician’s death in Perth

53 minutes ago

ASX200 slips on US chaos, mining woes during July 22, 2024 trading day