The Sickness Absence Review is a long document
with a number of comments and recommendations, including:
- For employers tackling sickness absence in the
workplace, a key barrier to getting people back to work is that the vast
majority of fit notes declare employees to be completely incapable of work.
This leaves the employer with no options or advice to help the employee back
- So the government should set up a new
Independent Assessment Service (IAS) that employers and GPs can refer long-term
sickness absence cases to for bespoke advice. Employers stand to gain around
£100m a year from reductions to sick pay bills from using this service.
Co-author David Frost says, "Evidence
clearly shows that the longer you are out of work the harder it becomes to get
back in. But in many cases sickness absence is due to health conditions that
are nonetheless compatible with work – and can often be improved by work. The
current certification system does not provide employers with the advice they
need to make informed decisions about their employees’ capability for work. The
establishment of the Independent Assessment Service will provide practical
support and help to allow employers to make informed judgements about a return
to work for their staff."
The government will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the findings
and recommendations with the view to publishing a response during 2012.
Income protection insurance news: 28 November 2011