It is estimated that UK workers took over 131million days of sickness absence in 2013, at a cost to the economy of up to £13bn. In an effort to address this significant cost to the economy, in February 2011 the Government published a review into long term sickness absence.
This made a number of recommendations, including introduction of a government-funded assessment of employees by occupational health professionals after four weeks’ sickness absence. The programme, known as ‘Fit for Work’ (FFW), has been trialled in Sheffield and will be rolled out to the rest of the UK by May this year.
Employers and GPs will be able to refer any employee who has been absent from work due to sickness for four weeks or more (including self-certified absence by the employee) for a free assessment by an occupational health specialist.
How will this programme operate? Find out tomorrow in the next instalment of our Fit for Service series.