MoD Sickies

Some interesting information on MoD sickness related absence

The following table shows the number of days lost through sickness absence over a rolling 12-month period. The table includes non-industrial and industrial staff and the staff of the four MOD Trading Funds, but excludes staff in the Royal Fleet Auxiliaryand locally engaged civilians for whom sickness absence data is not readily available.

Period of sickness absence Days lost (short term) Days lost (long term)
1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 319,308 374,023
1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 303,718 361,559
1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 300,973 328,816
1 October 2007 to 30 September 2008 297,951 325,799
1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008 297,671 316,404
1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 291,174 304,924
1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009 283,007 299,880
1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009 288,527 296,960
1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009 284,930 296,752
1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 288,126 303,616
1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 284,369 300,357

Sickness absence rates by average working days lost (AWDL) per full-time equivalent (FTE) employee in the Ministry of Defence for the 12 months ending 30 June 2010, the latest information available, are shown in the following table.

The table includes non-industrial and industrial staff and the staff of the four MODtrading funds, but excludes staff in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and locally engaged civilians for whom sickness absence data are not readily available.

FTE rates( 1, 2)
Grade (equivalent)( 3) July 2009 to 30 June 2010
AA 11.61
AO 9.75
HO 7.84
HEO 5.64
SEO 5.12
G7 3.86
G6 2.83
SCS 2.17
Unknown 4.16
(1) Data presented reflects the current Cabinet Office definition, setting a maximum absence of 225 days per person, and excludes data for weekends, annual leave and bank holidays. Excludes staff who have been classed as on zero pay.(2) Average working days lost per full-time equivalent are calculated by dividing the total working days lost for each period by a weighted average of the first of the month strengths for the period, with the strengths at 1 January at the start and end of the period receiving a weighting of 0.5, and the strengths at the first of the other months in the period a weighting of 1.(3) Equivalent civil service grades have been used to amalgamate the various MOD non-industrial, industrial and trading fund grades.

Source: Here and Here

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ex-Whitehall Warrior
Ex-Whitehall Warrior
October 31, 2010 9:50 pm

The discrepancy in sickness rates between junior and more senior staff is noteworthy. My experience was that many junior staff would take time off at the first sign of a sniffle, but the more professional higher grades would stagger in to work even when quite clearly unwell. I think one issue is that low rank civil servants are so poorly paid that many see sick leave as a just means of generating extra leave to compensate for lack of remuneration.

The figures really need to be compared with the wider Civil Service and related areas such as the defence industry, rather than read in isolation. It is easy to critically compare sickness rates when comparing the public and private sectors, but there is also a lot of evidence that workers in the latter are very actively discouraged from taking sick leave even when they should do so (there is research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development about this).

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
November 1, 2010 1:52 am

This is one topic that should not be on this board. I get sick and tires of people trying to make a point out of the numbers of Civil Servant in the MoD and their work ethics. Without the Civil Servant the Armed Forces would grind to a halt in a matter of months. Remember besides all the admin they do they are responsible for nearly 90% of all depth maintenance work for all three services, run the Met Office and are responsible for teh purchace, maintneance and issue of all spares to all threee services. The vast majority were brought in in the 1990’s to replace service men and women to save a substantial amount of money. for example a Senior NCO was replaced by a AO earning less than £16K. So yes there are alot of Civil Servants but they are not the cause of the problems but are but a part of a system that is broke and that is where attention needs to be directed. With the solution there will be a drop in numbers but the MoD has already shed 20,000 Civil Servants over the past 5 years.

Sickness rates are an easy target as the Civil Service keeps accurate records and their is some eveidence that the 14day sick allowance can be used as extra leave but htis is the exception to the rule. That Staff are “Encouraged” to work when they should not due to ill health is a fact and widespread as is mistreatment of staff with long term illnesses and disabilities. The MoD is great at following its rules but these are often in a grey area with regards to law.

So as I said at the beginning this is not a subject that should be on this board.

Sorry I have very strong feelings on this being forced to take early retirement due to the MoD not accepting that I actaully had a Mental Health problem etc.

November 1, 2010 8:54 am

Not entirely relevent, but interesting

I read somewhere recently that Israel has an annual procurement budget of £8bn and staff of 400
The UK has an annual procurement budget of £9bn and a staff of 20,000.

November 2, 2010 6:28 pm

“I read somewhere recently that Israel has an annual procurement budget of £8bn and staff of 400
The UK has an annual procurement budget of £9bn and a staff of 20,000.”

The UK figure includes all of the comms staff and logistics staff, including all the manual labourers in warehouses etc.

Also, the UK has a vastly more complex procurement regime than the Israelis, who have to plan for a fairly static one dimensional defence threat. UK has to plan for operating pretty much anywhere on earth.

Additionally, the Israelis get most of their procurement done for them by the US through FMS cases.

As for the MOD CS – I agree that it looks the juniors take a lot more sick leave than seniors. BUT don’t forget this is an average spread over all grades – I can think of a lot of cases where one person racks up a lot due to something like hospitalisation or something similar, but this looks like everyone in their grade is taking X days leave.

Personally I’ve had 5 days ‘sick leave’ since joining nearly 10 years ago – all in one week to recover from an operation when I couldnt physically walk for 3 days due to the pain. Most people are like me – they dont call in sick unless they’re really ill. If you rack up too many sick days (IIRC its 20 per year) then you are subject to restoring efficiency measures, so dont get a pay rise, and dont qualify for a bonus in that year.