9 3 mins 9 yrs


I’ll be on the BBC NI Nolan TV show this evening and we are debating this issue;

Sickness among civil servants has cost the economy more than £30 million in lost production, it has been revealed.  Last year workers took an average of 10.6 sick days, a rise on the 10.1 during the previous 12 months. Stress, anxiety and depression were cited among the most common reasons given for the absences.

It gets worse. Consider this statistic..

Even though more than half (52.3%) of staff had no recorded absence, over one-in-ten (10.4%) employees missed around three months (60 days) due to sickness with long-term sickness accounting for 70.7% of the total working days lost.

60 days!!!!!!!!  That is 12 weeks off!

It gets worse still!!

Sick leave in Northern Ireland’s ENTIRE public sector cost the economy about £149m last year, the Audit Office has found.  Between 2010 and 2011, sickness cost the health trusts an estimated £73m; the education sector £46m and the civil service £30m.

Right, time to sort it out.

Civil servants in Northern Ireland enjoy higher average salaries than private sector workers. They enjoy longer holidays. They enjoy better working conditions. They enjoy better pensions. They enjoy the protection of the Trades Unions.

And that’s the problem. Whilst 50% of civil servants work hard and take NO time off — there are professional malingerers who take this time off BECAUSE they can! Contrast their 10.6 days off with the private sector average of 4.5 days off.  Are those working in the private sector immune to the “stress and anxiety and depression” that seems to SO afflict their public sector equivalents? Of course they are and so this is — quite simply – a selfish bunch of public sector workers swinging the lead, as they say here, taking extra time off because they get away with it!

I will be up against a trade unionist called Bumper Graham (Great name btw) and as far as I am concerned, it is the Unions which carry serious culpability for this rip off. They control the public sector and oddly enough that is where the sick note culture dominates. Rather than face into it, and help bring sick days down to as close to zero as possible, they excuse it, they defend it.

There will be some straight talking tonight. To those who can tune in, touch that dial at 10.35pm and watch me in 3D!!!

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9 thoughts on “SICK NOTE CULTURE

  1. Sickness among civil servants has cost the economy more than £30 million in lost production, it has been revealed.

    This is a false analysis. It implies that State tax-feeders don’t cost the economy anything when they clock on, but of course they do.

    State bureaucrats cost ‘the economy’ (i.e. tax-victims) the tens or scores of billions they trouser in so-called salaries each year. What they do for it is inconsequential, because it’s all consumption spending, and none of it is necessary or needed. If it was necessary, or if their was a demand for it, a free market would provide it.

    Frankly at least a State bureaucrat isn’t poking his nose into the affairs of productive people while he’s swinging the lead, so all in all I think I prefer him at home. Whether at work or at home, they’re still blood-suckers.

  2. Contrast their 10.6 days off with the private sector average of 4.5 days off.

    The majority of private sector workers do not get the benefit of occupational sick pay, i.e. they only get statutory sick pay. Occupational sick pay entitless the employee to full pay for up to (typically) one month per calendar year, whereas statutory sick pay pays nothing for the first three days of absence and then a daily rate of £18 per day.

    So go figure.

  3. Some of the malingers out to be sent to prison for fraud.

    Make an example of out of them, and watch a rapid return to health in the population.

  4. As well as a generally lower level of sick pay, the private sector manages malingerers more robustly. The profit motive works wonders.

  5. Yes.

    Where I work, and probably its the same where you work, if someone is truly sick, the employer has no problem allowing them as much time off, even more than the policy, as needed.

    But generally, people take very few days, because most people ( rap on wood ) aren’t sick that often, and no one fakes illness, and everyone wants to get the job done, especially in these days of lean staffing.

  6. Being able to work from home has cut down on sick days in a lot of workplaces, particularly in the private sector. I had emergency surgery about three weeks ago and while I haven’t set foot in the office, I log in from home most days and do what I can. We also have to take about 25 credit hours of work-related classes each year so I’ve been fulfilling that requirement during those times I would have normally been working on team projects.

  7. I’m sorry this is just wrong,but I don’t care it’s honest.

    they’re career civil servants, bureaucrats…. can’t we just cut them and let them die? The herd will be much better off in the long run. You know I’m right.

  8. that should read “can’t we just cut them


    and let them die?

    not just cut them…. that would be messy anyway….

  9. I watched the show and enjoyed David’s contribution, even though I disagreed. Of course the real burning issue of the day is… how many Van Morrison tickets counsellors are getting! 🙂

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