Health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing is one of the four corporate priorities set by the Head of the Home Civil Service, Sir Gus O’Donnell.

Last updated - 15th March 2010

In the last few years, significant progress has been in this area:

  • The current level of sickness absence within the Civil Service is now at its lowest since 1999. 
  • 42% of all Civil Servants have had no sickness absence in the last year. 
  • A recent HSE report showed that when all contributing factors are taken into account, public sector employees only took an average of 0.3 more sickness days a year than those in the private sector.

The Civil Service strives to create an environment where:

  • Every employee in the Civil Service works in a context where their health and wellbeing matters.
  • Health and well-being is at the centre of change and learning and development programmes.
  • The structural, cultural and demographic factors that underpin current levels of attendance are identified and tackled.

The Cabinet Office has responsibility for the central guidance in the Civil Service Management Code on managing attendance. It helps departments and agencies understand the importance of improving health and wellbeing of staff. Doing so decreases staff sickness absence, and develops an engaged, motivated and productive workforce.

A key focus of health and wellbeing is keeping our staff fit, healthy and at work. Individual organisations are ultimately responsible for this. They regularly analyse their sickness absence data and look for ways to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff. They publish this data on their websites and in annual reports.