Public Servants pack more sickies

It’s official, Public Servants are sicker than the rest of us. Whilst sitting in their air-conditioned top shelf office blocks expanding their already well padded butts the public service is also taking more sick days than the rest of us. More pay, more holidays and more sick leave. No wonder the wheels of government grind so slowly.

Public servants averaged 7.7 sick days each last year, compared with 5.3 days for workers in the private sector.

The disparity was symptomatic of the cultural difference between private and public sector workplaces, claims one critic.

The National Employers’ wage and salary survey interviewed more than 39,000 employees, and found the average worker took 5.3 sick days each year.

The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association commissioned the survey, which a spokesman said highlighted the cultural mindset at workplaces.

Employment services manager David Lowe said 7.7 sick days was high, considering most private businesses provided only the legal minimum of five days. “It’s just a symptom of the difference between the the private and public sectors,” he said. “It’s about the culture of the workplace. When people are in that grey zone of not feeling flash, some go in, but others say `I’m going to take the day off’.”

Over paid, underworked and now having a lend via sick days.

One former public servant who responded to the survey said many workers saw 10 sick days as a target. “If you’re sick in the public sector no one cares, and work does not pile up on your desk.”

Ain’t that the truth. I know a couple of civil servants who think their sick leave is like a special holiday allowance and they calculate it as such.

Ministry of Social Development staff are among the most sickly, averaging 8.1 days each. A spokesperson said staff there got sick more often because they had more interaction with the public.

Ministry of Economic Development staff appear impervious to germs and bacteria, averaging just 1.5 sick days a year. At the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, staff averaged 7.63 sick days. Female staff took eight days, while male staff took five each.

Hmmm…I wonder what Alasdair Thompson thinks about these figures.


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  • Liberty

    It is easily explainable why public servants. Have more sick days off.
    Apart from some front line positions. Like police , army, Hospitals and Justice.
    The public servant is simply not needed. He /she can walk out of the office
    and want be noticed. I’m surprised it is only 7.7 days.

  • Hagues

    7.7 days is what they are owning up to, I’d imagine the reality is much higher.

  • JeffW

    This is probably a good thing; if all public servants, apart from functions such as police, health and teachers took sick leave all the time, they would not be stopping the private sector from creating the wealth the country needs

  • GPT

    No kidding. Unlimited sick leave and mental health days all but encouraged – hardly any wonder sick leave is up. And unlike a lot of us in the real world a lot of their work doesn’t stack up waiting for them.