Skip to content
News / January 19, 2009

Dental profession defies high absenteeism rates in public sector

by Guy Hiscott

While concern has been raised about the level of absenteeism in the public sector, dental and medical staff have bucked this worrying trend, which sees 28 of the 34 county and city councils across the country suffering absenteeism rates of more than 3.5%.

Dental staff are responsible for losing only 0.93% of the working year, while, apart from the Irish Prison Service, support staff within the HSE are the worst offenders among State employees. The porters, carers, cleaners and caterers within the health service lost 8% of their working year to sick leave.

The average private sector firm loses 3.5% of its working year to certified and uncertified sick leave.

Earlier this month, the HSE’s human resources director, Sean McGrath, warned that there was no alternative but to change work practices and reduce absenteeism, to help slash hundreds of millions in pay costs.

The absenteeism rate refers to the proportion of days lost as a percentage of the total number of days available to work in a year.