Set to launch in October, the ‘Health and Work Service’, part of the cross-government Health, Work and Wellbeing initiative, will provide occupational health advice and support for both employers and employees.
Currently Employers face an annual bill of around £9bn in sick pay and associated costs. Research shows that nearly a million employees each year are absent from work for a period of at least four weeks at a time, and around 300,000 people a year will end up falling out of work because of a health related condition.
In order to resolve these issues, in early 2011 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) requested an independent review to assess the sickness absence system and make recommendations for change.
The report by Dame Carol Black and David Frost CBE was published in November 2011. Following consultation, the government published its response in January 2013, setting out among other things its plans for the new assessment service.
The Health and Work Service, which will cover England, Wales and Scotland, will offer non-compulsory medical assessments and treatment plans. It will be run by the private sector and paid for by scrapping compensation to employers for statutory sick pay. Ministers say employers will save money overall by having fewer staff off sick and they it may save companies up to £70m a year in reduced sickness pay and related costs.
Read the full briefing HERE