Govt 'needs to get own house in order' on sick leave04/07/2012 - 09:15:31
Fine Gael TD Simon Harris has said that the Government needs to "get its own house in order" before it starts to lecture the private sector on sick leave.
Deputy Harris made the comments after it emerged that 185,000 sick days were recorded across Government departments last year at a cost of €27m to the taxpayer.
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton - whose own department clocked up the most sick days last year - has already signalled her intention to make businesses bear the cost of sick pay, rather than the state.
But Deputy Harris said these figures show where the real focus of Government should be.
"If Government is to actually attempt to lecture the private sector on the issue of sick pay, we'd want to get our own house in order first," he said.
"(An) IBEC survey shows that their rate of sick leave is actually half what it is in government departments - that doesn't include state agencies, that doesn't include other bodies under remits of ministers.
"We have a huge amount of work to do… And I think that should be the focus of Government."
Read more: 185,000 State sick days cost taxpayer €27m
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