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.
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