How pandemic impacted public service sick leave
THE COVID-19 pandemic has barely made a dent in the amount of sick leave taken by Queensland's public servants.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Queensland public servants took an average of 7.15 sick days each during the 2019-20 financial year - when the virus broke out and the state experienced mass restrictions.
It reflected a 2.32 per cent drop from the previous financial year, when the average amount of sick days per person was 7.32 days.
While the change was small, it was a bigger fall than the drop from 7.36 days to 7.32 days that was recorded between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years.
The figures come after it was revealed that the number of sick days taken in some federal public service agencies and departments fell by as much as 20 per cent in the period between March and October, when compared to 2019.
The Queensland Public Service Commission (PSC) was unable to provide a breakdown of sick days taken in each department.
"All Queensland Government agencies have continued to monitor any changes in the environment to ensure employee safety in the workplace and that employees actions align with the latest Chief Health Officer advice," a Public Service Commission spokesman said.
"Employees have been supported to access leave if they have needed, including special pandemic leave."
The spokesman said the data showed a "slight decrease" in sick leave taken by Queensland public servants during the pandemic.
"Over the past three years the amount of sick leave on average taken by Queensland public servants has varied only slightly," he said.
The figures span across all government department and agencies as well as other State entities, such as Legal Aid Queensland, the Health Ombudsman, the Queensland Museum and the Queensland Art Gallery.
The government also granted pandemic leave days to a number of frontline workers, including teachers and health workers and police - but they would have largely been taken in the current financial year.
The per person average of sick leave taken by Queensland public servants
2017-18: 7.36 days
2019-20: 7.15 days
Originally published as How pandemic impacted public service sick leave