CODE: GREEN (phased)
The Government has announced that its Health and Work Service (HWS), aimed at managing and reducing sickness absence is now being launched in late 2014. There will then be a phased roll out of the Service until the end of May 2015. Under the HWS:
• An Occupational Health Assessment will be provided for employees who are off sick or expected to be off sick for 4 weeks;
• This will be followed up by a return to work plan for each of the employees which will be ‘shared’ with the employer;
• Telephone and website advice will be available to employers and employees;
• A case worker will support each employee;
• There will be tax relief of up to £500 per year per employee against the costs of recommended medical treatment.
The HWS is being introduced following recommendations by Dame Carol Black in her 2011 review of workplace sickness absence. The Government says that a nearly a million employees a year are off for 4 weeks or more and so this Service, to be provided by Health Management Ltd a Maximus company, will be a massive enterprise. For further details about these changes and the timing of their introduction read our future blogs.
If you would like to discuss this or any other employment law matter, or if you would like to sign up to our regular newsletters, please contact us on 01737 854500 and ask to speak to a member of our employment team.
Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.