Health and Work Service to be launched late 2014

In June and July 2014, Rollits hosted a number of workshops addressing how to manage absence proactively. 

As many of you are aware, the Department of Work and Pensions and Bis have commissioned a report entitled "Health at Work".  The report was prepared by Dame Carol Black, the National Director for Health at Work.  The basis of the independent review was to "avoid the sick note culture" and enable individual employers and the state alike to balance the cost of sickness absence. 

The Government thereafter published a response to the report prepared by Dame Carol Black on 17 January 2013.  The report made a number of recommendations.  The first of those recommendations was the introduction of a new independent assessment service to be known as the Health and Work Service. 

The rationale behind such a service is that not all employers and certainly not small employers have access to Occupational Health support.  It is intended that after a period of four weeks absence, an employee should be referred to this new Government funded provider.  A number of schemes have been in progress however, the Government has now announced that the contract to provide the service has been awarded to an experienced health care provider and will be launched on the phased basis in late 2014 and is expected to be up and running by May 2015.

The stated intention of the service is to provide both an in depth assessment of an employee's physical or mental function and advise as to how an absent employee can be returned to the workplace.

It is hoped that the ability to make such a referral will, encourage employers to manage absence more proactively and give confidence to employers in dealing with absent employees.  HR professionals and lawyers alike acknowledge the undisputed fact that absence in the workplace can be reduced by good management and early intervention.  

Posted on: 22/08/2014

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.

Back to press releases
Back to press releases

Sign up to email news

Sign up to receive email updates and regular legal news from Rollits LLP.

Sign up