New ‘Fit for Work’ Scheme Will Enable Employers to Tackle Problematic Sick Leave

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A new scheme, which has been anticipated by many employers, is now beginning to be rolled out across the country. Due to be in full swing by May and completed by the autumn, the ‘fit to work’ scheme will work with employers and businesses to try to help them cut back on problematic employee sick leave, increasing the productivity and workload of the entire business.

Many larger companies will already have a strict policy in place relating to sick leave and long-term absence. However, due to the cost and time it takes to manage these protocols, smaller businesses may be losing out.

The Scheme

The ‘Fit for Work’ scheme is very simple. Under it, if an employee has been or is likely to be off work for a period of more than 4 weeks, they will be referred – with their consent – for health advice and an occupational health assessment.

Following on from this assessment, the employee will be offered a return to work plan that will provide them and their employer with advice and information relating to their return to work. This may include a timeline for their return and anything that their employer may be able to do to help them to speed up their recovery – including recommending certain treatments.So we suggest working with a auburn chiropractors.com.

The Benefits

Although it will not be compulsory for all employers to use the Fit for Work scheme when tackling long-term absence, there are some great benefits for doing it:

  • Tax breaks for employers who pay for treatments recommended by Fit for Work
  • Simple and clear guidelines
  • Lower the cost of absences within your company
  • Easy to implement and keep track of

The Roll Out

We have seen over the past couple of weeks that the scheme had begun to be rolled out and has so far reached over 200 GP practices across the country. Once the scheme is rolled out across the whole country and employers and employees are beginning to use it successfully, the government has predicted that it may cut the cost of sick pay to employers by between £80m and £165m per year. Within the scheme, employees will also benefit from up to a £500 tax exemption on certain medical treatments.

Adapting it to Suit Your Needs

The Fit for Work scheme is available to all businesses and employers,  whatever their size; however it is still important to have a clear absence policy in place, as this scheme will not replace it . Companies may find that they already have an effective absence policy in  place and are worried about changing it. In this case, there is no need to take advantage of the entire scheme. It is possible to use a mixture of the in-house policy as well as the Fit for Work scheme; or use a two-phase approach, using the scheme first then if absence doesn’t improve, using the in-house scheme.

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