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Health and Work Service proposed 13/02/2014 The Government has revealed details of its planned new Health and Work Service, which is designed to tackle the problems posed by people on long term sick leave

Health and Work Service proposed

The Government has revealed details of its planned new Health and Work Service, which is designed to tackle the problems posed by people on long term sick leave. The Service will apply to England, Wales and Scotland.

New Government figures show that as many as 960,000 employees were on sick leave for a month or more each year on average between October 2010 and September 2013.

The Health and Work Service will help employees who have been on sickness absence for four weeks to return to work and support employers to better manage sickness absence among their workforce. It is expected to save employers £70 million a year and cut the time people spend off work by 20% to 40%.

The voluntary process will include:

  • The offer of a work-focused occupational health assessment and case management to employees in the early stages of sickness absence.
  • GPs will be able to refer employees for assessment by the new service once they are absent, or expected to be absent, from work due to illness for four weeks. Employers can also refer employees.
  • The work-focused occupational health assessment will identify the issues preventing an employee from returning to work and draw up a plan for them, their employer and GP, recommending how the employee can be helped back to work more quickly.
  • The plan will include a timetable for a return to work, fitness for work advice, as well as signpost to appropriate help. Employees will be supported throughout their time with the service, so they can return to work as soon as they are able to.
  • It will also provide an advice service on the internet and telephone for anyone who needs it.

 

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