New figures which are expected to come before the Oireachtas Committee on Public Accounts next week show that sick leave within the public sector is costing the State over €550m per year.
According to a report in today's Irish Times, some €448m was paid out in respect of certified sick leave and a further €63m on uncertified sick leave.
At present, employees in the public service can avail of up to seven days uncertified sick leave in a 12-month period.
Staff can receive full pay for certified sickness, absent for up to six months in one year.
The Government is understood to be planning to reform this area of the public services in order to cut costs.