Health and Work Service to be launched late 2014
In June and July 2014, Rollitshosted a number of workshops addressing how to manage absenceproactively.
As many of you are aware, theDepartment of Work and Pensions and Bis have commissioned a reportentitled "Health at Work". The report was prepared by DameCarol Black, the National Director for Health at Work. Thebasis of the independent review was to "avoid the sick noteculture" and enable individual employers and the state alike tobalance the cost of sickness absence.
The Government thereafterpublished a response to the report prepared by Dame Carol Black on17 January 2013. The report made a number ofrecommendations. The first of those recommendations was theintroduction of a new independent assessment service to be known asthe Health and Work Service.
The rationale behind such aservice is that not all employers and certainly not small employershave access to Occupational Health support. It is intendedthat after a period of four weeks absence, an employee should bereferred to this new Government funded provider. A number ofschemes have been in progress however, the Government has nowannounced that the contract to provide the service has been awardedto an experienced health care provider and will be launched on thephased basis in late 2014 and is expected to be up and running byMay 2015.
The stated intention of theservice is to provide both an in depth assessment of an employee'sphysical or mental function and advise as to how an absent employeecan be returned to the workplace.
It is hoped that the abilityto make such a referral will, encourage employers to manage absencemore proactively and give confidence to employers in dealing withabsent employees. HR professionals and lawyers alikeacknowledge the undisputed fact that absence in the workplace canbe reduced by good management and earlyintervention.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.