Help for employers to tackle long-term sickness absence – next year!
The Government has announced that it intends to set up an independent assessment and advisory service to help employers get staff back to work when they have been off sick for 4 weeks or more.
The new scheme is part of the Government's response to the report “The health at work - Independent review of sickness absence”, carried out by national director for health and work, Dame Carol Black and former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, David Frost.
It appears that only 10% of employees of small firms have access to an occupational health service, compared with more than half of staff in larger firms. The Government claims this new service will enable employers of all sizes to access expert advice to help them manage sickness absence in the workplace.
It is well known that that the longer people are off sick, the less likely they are to make a successful return to work; and research has shown that after six months' absence from work, there is only a 50% chance of someone making a successful return
The intention is that the proposed occupational health advisory and assessment service will give clear advice on which a business can make a judgment about when and on what circumstances their employee will return after a period of absence. The new service is expected to be up and running sometime in 2014.
But if you have a case that can’t wait until 2014 to be resolved, there are independent outsourced occupational health providers available who can provide a service now. If you have a particular case that you are concerned about and need assistance to resolve, contact Cherington HR and we can discuss a way forward and recommend an occupational health provider if appropriate.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016