Civil servants in the devolved departments take on average 13.4 days sick days a year, Finance Minister Peter Robinson has said.
DSD staff take an average of 18.3 days a year off sick
In a Stormont written answer, Mr Robinson said managing sickness absence was a key priority for government.
The latest figure is for 2005/6, with the Department of Social Development recording the highest sick leave level.
Staff there took 18.3 days off, whilst staff in the Department for Regional Development took only 8.2 days.
Mr Robinsons' answer gave some comparisons of absence in the private and public sector, produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the CBI.
The CIPD figures show private sector absence figures for 2006 as 6.8 days compared to a public sector figure of 9.9 days.
The CBI figure for 2006 puts the private sector at 6.3 days and the public sector at 9 days.
Mr Robinson said these figures were not directly comparable to the statistics for the local departments, as the way the information is collected differs significantly.