Northern civil servants out sick for longer

Civil servants who work for the Department of Social Development in the North are off sick for almost four weeks a year on average, according to a public spending watchdog.

The Audit Office has said while absence levels had fallen in recent years, they are 40% above the figure for the UK.

The average duration of sickness absence in the Northern civil service overall is 13.7 days a year, compared to 9.3 in Britain.

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