Feb 2015


Fit for Work- Initiative by Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) - tackling the problem of long-term sickness absence came into effect on January 1 2015

Fit for Work provides people on sick leave with help to return to work by providing an occupational health assessment when they have been, or are expected to be, off work for 4 weeks. After the assessment, which GPs have been told should be the default option after four weeks’ sickness; they will receive a return-to-work plan with recommendations to help them get back to work more quickly. a return to work plan (RtW) can be accepted as evidence for payment of SSP in the same way as a fit note.

Employers, even those without HR and occupational health teams in-house can also ask for an assessment if the GP has not done so. All referrals will be based on the informed consent of the employee. The government has set out the following deadlines for the referral service which has yet to go live:

- the first assessment will be within two working days of receipt of referral
- if the employee is not expected to return to work, a review date will be set as part of the case management
- further (phone) assessment will take place within two working days
- face to face assessment (either initial or further) will take place within five working days
- the return to work plan is sent to the employee and, subject to consent, to the employer and GP within two working days (the employer may be contacted to develop the plan)
- out of hours queries to the advice service are responded to within one working day of receipt

A tax exemption of up to £500 a year per employee on medical treatments recommended by Fit for Work or an employer-arranged occupational health service was also introduced from 1st January 2015


Read more at fitforwork.org >

Posted byAnn TigheinHealth & SafetyPayroll Software