Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 12:44 UK

Civil service sick days cost 21m

woman sneezing
Woman took twice as many sick days as men

Civil servants in NI's government departments took, on average, 11 days sick leave during 2008/2009. The cost of absences in that period was £21m.

Employees in the Department of Social Development took the most days at 14.6.

Those working in the Office of First and Deputy First Minister had the least at 6.8 days.

The average total was down from 12.9 days the previous year, but did not meet the target of 10.2 days. Women took twice as many days as men.

The report by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency found that anxiety, stress, depression and other psychiatric illnesses were the main reasons for absence - accounting for 26.7% of days lost.

It also said the majority of working days lost were due to 10.2% of staff who were absent from work on a long-term basis for an average of 61.7 working days.

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