Fit for Work now open
We’ve written about this before, but now it’s finally here. Employers in England and Wales are now able to refer employees to Fit for Work, the government service set up to help working people on long-term sickness absence.
Fit for Work provides occupational health services to people who have been, or are likely to be, off work for four weeks or more. It is particularly aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that have little or no occupational health support.
The fact that the longer someone remains out of work due to sickness, the greater the cost to their career, income and future earnings, compared with how many workers were employed by organisations that offered no occupational health support (approximately 31% in 2013). This service could make a bit difference for a lot of people.
How does it work?
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.