FOI request detail

Sick Leave

Request ID: FOI-0938-2223
Date published: 10 August 2022

You asked

Please include the following information for the following financial years; 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22: • The total number of sick days taken by TfL staff • The number of TfL staff who have taken one or more days off sick • The total number of self-certification forms submitted by TfL staff for absences of one to seven days Please also include the following information for the following financial years; 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22: • The number of employees taking more than seven days of absence without a Statement of Fitness for Work from a certified medical practitioner • The total number of days lost in excess of the seven days

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-0938-2223

Thank you for your request received on 18 July 2022 asking for information about sick leave.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

Our in-house Occupational Health team provides a wide range of health services for the circa 26,000 frontline, operational and non-operational staff who work across the London Underground, Surface, Rail and Corporate directorates. Information, advice and a number of initiatives are in place to help our staff look after their health and wellbeing and support them at work wherever possible, including:

•           Physiotherapy and low back pain clinics
•           Advice to help staff prevent medical conditions associated with shift work
•           Counselling and trauma services
•           Female and male specific health management
•           Cancer awareness
•           Stop smoking support
•           Extensive advice and guidance via our staff intranet pages aimed at encouraging a healthy lifestyle, including monitoring and managing chronic conditions

To help reduce the level of staff absenteeism, our senior management works closely with Human Resources and Occupational Health to support colleagues and manage absence levels. For example, we have an extensive development programme for managers at all levels on managing sickness absence.
To provide this information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.
Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.
We have estimated that it would cost over £450 to provide a response to your current request. This is because it is estimated that it would take in excess of 18 working hours to retrieve and compile the information you have requested.

We may be able to answer Q1 and Q2 of your request, however due to reporting limitations there is likely to be discrepancies with the data requiring manual reviewing which may lead to issues with compiling the information requested in Q3. Additionally, for the last two questions, this information is not centrally recorded as it is held locally by each team. In order to provide it we would have to identify, locate, and extract this information from every team across the organisation.
To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. Due to the way the information is held it is difficult to determine how you could refine the request in a manner that would enable us to process the request. If you are able to formulate a different request relating to this information we may be able to process it within the time available.
If you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act allows you to request recorded information held by us.
Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, we do not have to answer your question if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your request.
Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request.
If this is not the information you are looking for please feel free to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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