‘Fit for Work’: How will Employers Benefit?

By Nancy Prest
9th April 2015

What is Fit for Work?

At the time of writing, nearly one million employees per year reach the four-week sickness absence point. As a result, employers are faced with an annual bill of £9bn for sick pay and peripheral costs. Employees lose £4bn through not working (source: gov.uk).

Fit for Work is a scheme that has been introduced across the UK, with an aim to tackle long-term sickness absence. Employees are helped back to work in two stages:

  • Assessment: Once an employee nears four weeks of sickness absence, their GP can (with their permission) refer them to an assessment with an Occupational Therapist. Any barriers in returning to work will be investigated and considered.
  • Advice: Employers, employees and GPs will be able to access advice via a dedicated phone line and website.

Is it a free service?

Fit for Work provides free and impartial advice for both employer and employee. It will not replace an employer’s own occupational provision and can be accessed alongside services offered by the employer. Fit for Work will not cover costs for advised treatments, such as physiotherapy.

When will it be available?

Fit for Work came into effect on 9 March, 2015 and is expected to be accessible for all employers and employees by the end of the year. More information can be found in the Government’s Fit for Work document, or by calling Doodle HR on 07960 223 696

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