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Public servants took more than 2 million sick days last year

The government are saying changes to the way sick leave is administered has saved the taxpayer €51.5 million.

Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

LAST YEAR PUBLIC servants took an average of 8.7 days sick leave.

This accounted for employees full-time positions across the public service and included the civil service, local authorities, education, the health sector, the justice system and defence forces.

The total number of sick days taken worked out at around 2.13 million.

In total the cost to the taxpayer of public service sick days was €319 million.


These figures for 2014 show a decrease of 0.8 days from the year before.

Overall numbers of sick leave decreased between 2013 and 2014 – with this creating a saving of 14%, or €51.5 million since 2013.

This works out at an additional 260,000 days worked by public servants.

The government is putting the decrease in the amount paid out on sick leave down to its public service sick leave scheme which came into effect in the majority of sectors at the end of March last year and in the education sector at the start of September.

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How much sick leave can a public servant take? 

Under the new scheme, staff members taking a period of absence from work due to illness or injury are allowed a maximum of 92 days on full pay in a one-year period.

After that, they are then allowed a maximum of 91 days on half pay in a rolling one-year period.

Staff are subject to a maximum of 183 days paid sick leave in any four-year period.

There are then further protocols in place for individuals that finds themselves critically unwell for a longer periods of time.

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