By email only: Stephen Delahunty
PO Box 211
Our ref: C-536665
Date: 23 February 2021
Dear Mr Delahunty
Freedom of Information: Staff Absence
Thank you for your email requesting information from the Charity Commission. Your
request has been managed in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the “FOIA”).
You ask the Commission:
“1. What is the total number of sick days taken by the Charity's Commission's staff during
the last calendar year (2020)?
2. Can you also provide the reason given for each absence (If part two is likely to take me
beyond the 24 staff hours limit or £600 cost to collate the information please negate it from
I can confirm the Commission holds information relevant to your request, please see below
for the response.
I can confirm that the total number of days lost to sickness absence was 2013.5.
The Commission can disclose some information relevant to your request numbered 2.
There were 64 instances recorded as general symptoms.
There were 29 instances recorded as the digestive system.
There were 41 instances recorded as respiratory system.
There were 30 instances recorded as viruses and infectious diseases.
There were 30 Instances recorded with no known reason.
There were 17 instances recorded under bone muscle and connective tissue.
On track to meet your deadline?
0300 066 9197 (General enquiries)
on filing your annual return and accounts
Some information has been withheld as it is considered the exemption at Section 40(2) of
the FOIA applies to the disclosure of the data. Section 40(2)
Personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in
section (3) is satisfied, namely whether any of the data protection principles would be
contravened by the disclosure.
Disclosure of information which can identify individuals would breach the first principle at
Article 5(1)(a) of the GDPR. Under this principle personal data is required to be processed
lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
To disclose personal data in response to a FOIA request would be at odds with this
principle unless there is a legitimate interest in doing so, and this was in line with the
expectations of the data subjects concerned.
Personal data is considered to be fair and lawfully processed if at least one of the
conditions at Article 6 of the GDPR applies, the conditions most relevant to a FOIA request
(a) the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for
one or more specific purposes
(f) the processing is necessary for the purpose of the legitimate interests pursued by the
controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or
fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject.
The individuals concerned have a legitimate expectation that their data will not be
disclosed in this manner.
In this instance, I have not identified a legitimate interest which overrides the rights and
freedoms of the individual who would be identified by the disclosure.
The Commission employs a relatively small number of employees and to disclose
sensitive personal data relating to small numbers of recorded absence risks releasing data
into the public domain which could lead to individuals being identified.
The disclosure of such personal information would be unfair on the persons concerned
and would cause them damage and distress.
Although individuals are not directly identifiable from this data, where small numbers exist
the chances of ‘motivated intruders’ being able to identify individuals from that data is
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heightened. A ‘motivated intruder’ is specified as someone who will take all reasonable
steps to identify individuals, but without any prior knowledge. This principle is explained
further in the ICO’s anonymization code which can be found here.
This exemption applies because it would be unfair to disclose information constituting the
personal data of individuals who would have no expectation that information they have
provided to the Commission would be disclosed to the wider public.
This completes your information request.
Information Rights & Complaints Manager
Charity Commission If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or the decision which has been
reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests must be
submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to the
Charity Commission at PO Box 211, Bootle, L20 7YX
If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you are able to appeal to the Information
Commissioner. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted
our review procedure. The ICO can be contacted at the Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF (email:
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