It’s been a long time coming but the new government scheme to assist employees back to work will soon be available to everyone. The Fit for Work service (formerly known as the Health and Work Service) was first recommended by Dame Carol Black in February 2011 following a review of sickness absence in the UK. This review sought to identify ways of minimising the number of days work lost to ill health and to find ways of reducing the costs to individuals, employers and the taxpayer.
One of the recommendations of the report was to introduce a government funded occupational health assessment for employees who are off work for four weeks or more. This has been piloted in a number of areas over the last four years and is now being rolled out nationally. The service is due to be in place in all areas by May 2015.