Fit for Work opens for business
Last month, the Government's long-awaited Fit for Work occupational health service opened its doors for employers in England and Wales.
It is intended particularly for SME employers who may not have their own occupational health service providers and can be used when an employee has been off for at least four weeks. You may however wish to make your own arrangements if you would like occupational health interventions before four weeks.
Within two working days of a referral to Fit for Work, the employee will receive an in-depth consultation with an occupational health professional who will explore all the issues that might be preventing a return to work.
This will include work-related and wider personal issues as well as health matters. They will then work with the employee to agree a personalised return-to-work plan.
The key eligibility requirements for referral to the Fit for Work service are that the individual mus have given his/her consent for the referral andt:
* be an employee (not a self-employed contractor);
* have been absent from work for at least four weeks;
* have a reasonable likelihood of being able to return to work within three months; and
* have not undergone a Fit for Work assessment in the previous 12 months and have not received a Fit for Work return-to-work plan as a result of the previous referral.
There are slightly different arrangements in Scotland.
See www.fitforwork.org (England and Wales) or www.fitforworkscotland.scot (Scotland) for more information.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016