Isle of Man chief orders action over sick pay levels
The island's chief minister has ordered "action" to be taken over "unacceptable" levels of sick pay among government workers.
Officials statistics show public sector sick pay to have cost Manx taxpayers about £48m over the past four years.
Allan Bell has asked government human resources to draw up an action plan and produce regular progress reports.
He said: "Members of the public will be rightly horrified at the extent and cost of sickness."
He added: "It is simply unacceptable and we have to take steps to deal with the problem.
"While the vast majority of our employees are very conscientious, and most cases of sickness absence will be genuine, there is real concern that the system is open to abuse by a minority who let down their colleagues as well as the taxpayer."
Higher than UK
The statistics represent the period from 2007-2008 until 2010-2011 and show the loss of about 39,000 working days.
During the same period 147 staff members were given sick pay for 200 days or more within a year.
The departments which claimed the highest amount of sick pay during this time were health and education.
Sick pay figures show the average number of days claimed in the Isle of Man to have risen from 7.2 in 2007-2008 to 8.4 in 2010-2011.
This is higher than in the UK over the same period.