The latest from the Governments Fit to Work scheme – GPs are now able to refer patients who have been, or are likely to be, off work sick for four weeks or more. This means employers may start to receive ‘Return to Work Plans’ for their employees.
These are designed to help both employees who are off sick return to work, and employers to manage the impact of sickness absence on their business. They also provide evidence of sickness for pay purposes, replacing the need for a fit note.
Fit for Work helps you to better understand and manage sickness absence within your organisation. Expert and impartial advice is delivered by a team of occupational health professionals. You can chat online to a specialist advisor, email a question or call 0800 032 6235 (English) or 0800 032 6233 (Cymraeg). There is also have a library of advice containing articles on a range of health and work topics.
The Fit for Work referral service is rolling out across England and Wales over the coming months. A gradual roll-out will enable building of experience, learning and implementation improvements into ongoing plans. If you are in a roll out area, and you have employees who are, or are likely to be, off work for four weeks or more, you may start to receive step-by-step Return to Work Plans tailored to your employees’ needs. All employers nationally will be able to refer from autumn 2015.
Sign-up to get involved and receive updates about roll-out of the service.
Employer referrals have now gone live in Scotland. To find out more visit: www.fitforworkscotland.scot
Employers in England and Wales will be able to refer their employees to Fit for Work from the autumn.
To find out more visit: www.fitforwork.org/employer
Credits: DWP Touchbase
“How helpful this service will be is to be proven”
The Fit for Work advice service which offers expert and impartial work-related health advice, is now live.
Fit for Work is for anyone who needs free and impartial advice, including employers, GPs and employees. It is designed to support people in work with health conditions and to help with sickness absence.
Research suggests that being out of work
for long periods of time is damaging to people’s health and their social and financial well-being and that the longer someone is off sick, the harder it is for them to get back to work.
Advice is available over the phone as well as via the Fit for Work website.
Employees will soon be able to benefit from referrals to a health professional when they have been off sick for four weeks or more while employers could start to receive Return to Work Plans which will act as fit notes.
Fit for Work is intended to complement, not replace, existing occupational health provision. It should be particularly beneficial to smaller businesses that have not previously had access to occupational health advice.
There will be a phased rollout of the referral service over a period of months before Fit for Work is available nationwide. There will be more details of the rollout early in 2015 but people can sign up now to receive updates or get prepared by reading the guidance.
Fit for Work, which was known as the Health and Work Service, is being delivered in England and Wales by Health Management Ltd and in Scotland by the Scottish Government via NHS Scotland. In Scotland the service is called Fit for Work Scotland.