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Academic sick leave

Disclosure date: 31 August 2011

Reference: FOI2011/073

Response

1) The number of academic staff that took long-term sick leave during each of the academic years from 2006 to 2011, showing figures for each year individually.

See response to question 2.

2) The number of academic staff that took long-term sick leave during these years for reasons related to stress or work-related mental health issues.

The numbers of academic staff that took long-term sick leave during each of the academic years you are asking about are very low. As a result, disclosure of the figures for each year, especially in conjunction with the figures for absences related to stress or work-related issues, would risk individuals being identified if put together with other information that may be available, including personal knowledge held by other individuals. The School has to consider requests under Freedom of Information as though the information is being disclosed to anyone. Although you may not be able to link figures to names, other individuals, eg members of School staff, may be able to do so. For this reason, it is the School’s view that the answers to questions 1 and 2 are exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act. Disclosure would contravene the first Data Protection principle (fair and lawful processing), and this is particularly the case as the information concerned would fall under the definition of sensitive personal data, as it consists of personal information relating to individual members of staff and their physical or mental health.

However, it is possible to disclose that long-term sickness absence was reported for twelve members of academic staff over the course of the last five academic years. Three of these were related to stress or work-related mental health issues.

3) The number of academic staff whose long-term sick leave during these years was related to stress or work-related mental health issues, but whose long-term sick leave lasted for up to three months.

Three.

4) The number of academic staff whose long-term sick leave during these years was related to stress or work-related mental health issues, but whose sick leave lasted for a period greater than three months.

None.