Sickness Absence

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many days (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies has lost to staff sickness in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of such absence in each year. [147992]

Damian Green: The number of days lost in the Ministry of Justice (Ministry of Justice Headquarters, National Offender Management Service, HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian) owing to staff sick absence is shown in the following table.

Number of days lost to staff sickness within the Ministry of Justice as at 30 September 2012
 Total days

1 October 2007 to 30 September 2008(1)

779,776

1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009(1)

721,367

1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010(1)

706,477

1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011

648,850

1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012

636,692

(1) The period covering 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 includes the Scotland and Wales Offices when they formed part of the Ministry of Justice.

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The estimated cost to the Ministry of Justice for the days lost in each of these periods is in the following table.

Estimated salary cost due to staff sickness within the Ministry of Justice as at 30 September 2012
 Estimated cost (£ million)

1 October 2007 to 30 September 2008(1)

99.0

1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009(1)

89.3

1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010(1)

92.1

1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011

91.9

1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012

88.3

(1) The period covering 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 includes the Scotland and Wales Offices when they formed part of the Ministry of Justice.

While a large proportion of staff absence is in the Prison Service, the challenges faced by prison staff do not bear direct comparison with the working conditions of most civil servants. They perform a difficult, physical and sometimes dangerous job.

This information is not centrally held for non-departmental public bodies. This information has been requested from the Department's non-departmental public bodies and when available will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many officials in (a) his Department and (b)

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each of its non-departmental public bodies have had (i) fewer than five days, (ii) five to 10 days, (iii) 10 to 15 days, (iv) 15 to 20 days, (v) 20 to 25 days, (vi) 25 to 50 days, (vii) 50 to 75 days, (viii) 75 to 100 days, (ix) 100 to 150 days, (x) 150 to 200 days, (xi) more than 200 days, (xii) more than three months, (xiii) more than six months and (xiv) more than one year on paid sick leave (A) consecutively and (B) in total in each of the last five years. [148011]

Damian Green: The Ministry of Justice (Ministry of Justice Headquarters, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, National Offender Management Service and Office of the Public Guardian) is unable to provide the data requested. Sickness absence data are collated centrally to provide management information. However they are not broken down by the categories requested. Gathering the data requested would require analysing each notification of sickness absence sent in by managers across MOJ. This could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

It is possible to provide the total number of people who have taken any sick leave over the given period and the number of short and long-term sick absence days. Short-term absences are absences which are less than 21 working days or 29 calendar days. Long-term absences are all absences which are 21 working days or 29 calendar days or more. This information is shown in the following table.

Ministry of Justice (MOJ HQ, HMCTS, NOMS and OPG)
 Total number of staff who have taken any sick absenceTotal number of short-term absence daysTotal number of long-term absence daysTotal sick absence days

1 October 2007 to 30 September 2008(1)

51,334

313,940

465,836

779,776

1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009(1)

49,455

311,362

410,005

721,367

1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010(1)

47,995

287,714

418,763

706,477

1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011

44,810

257,867

390,983

648,850

1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012

42,243

238,358

398,334

636,692

(1 )The period covering 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 includes the Scotland and Wales Offices when they formed part of the Ministry of Justice.

While a large proportion of staff absence is in the Prison Service, the challenges faced by prison staff do not bear direct comparison with the working conditions of most civil servants. They perform a difficult, physical and sometimes dangerous job.

This information is not centrally held for non-departmental public bodies. This information has been requested from the Department's non-departmental public bodies and when available will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Telephone Services

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department's customer service telephone lines are restricted to those beginning 0870. [149028]

Mrs Grant: The Department's customer service telephone lines are not restricted to those beginning 0870.

The Department uses 0870 telephone lines as fax numbers; 96 of these are for use by the public, the rest are used internally.

The Department's approach is not to use 087 for non-geographic numbers and instead, wherever possible, to assign 0300 numbers, for which the tariff is similar to calling an 01 or 02 (geographic) number, whether the caller is using a fixed line or a mobile phone. The Department currently uses 41 ‘0300’ numbers.

Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband: Rural Areas

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she plans to take to ensure that BDUK grants mobile network operators full access to publicly-funded BDUK broadband poles and ducts to aid the roll-out of 4G mobile coverage in remote rural areas. [144772]

Mr Vaizey: The UK's superfast broadband programme ensures that winning suppliers (i.e. those in receipt of state aid) must make available new poles or ducts created with public money to competing operators, who are able to use that new infrastructure to offer other services such as 4G mobile coverage.

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Olympic Games

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) whether her Department provides any long-term funding for the Special Olympics Great Britain team; [149195]

(2) whether her Department has provided any grants to the Special Olympics Great Britain team in the last year. [149196]

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Hugh Robertson: Sport England has not directly funded the Special Olympics 6B team, but did provide £225,000 to the Special Olympics and Mencap in 2011, as part of its £1.3 million of National Lottery funding into six disability sports organisations, to get more disabled people playing sport.