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Trends in senior leadership in the Public Service

Senior leadership in the context of the HRC data is defined as the top three tiers of managers within Public Service departments.

As at 30 June 2015, there were 968 senior leaders in the Public Service. This compares to 1,025 senior leaders last year. This continues the trend over the last 14 years of declining senior leader numbers as shown in Figure 2.2. This is largely due to machinery of government changes that have reduced the number of Public Service departments over this period from 39 to 29. The decrease in 2015 is partly due to improvements in how senior leaders are identified in the data.

Figure 2.2 The trend in the size of senior leadership, June 2001-2015

Figure 2.2 The trend in the size of senior leadership, June 2001-2015

The average length of service within their department for tier two leaders, excluding those on fixed-term contracts, is 8.0 years in 2015, down from 9.5 years in 2010. The equivalent tenure for tier three leaders in 2015 was 11.3 years and this was unchanged from 2010.

Sick leave usage for senior leadership is very low, at 3.7 days in 2015. This compares with 5.8 days for the all managers group, and 8.3 days on average, for all Public Service employees.

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