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Sickness absence review

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

The Government will introduce a health and work assessment and advisory service from 2014. The service will provide:

A state-funded assessment by occupational health professionals for employees who are off sick for four weeks or more;

  • Case management for employees with complex needs who require ongoing support to facilitate their return to work.
  • Employers and employees with advice on overcoming the barriers that prevent employees from returning to work.

Additionally the Government intends to:

  • Revise guidance on fit notes to emphasise the importance of assessing an individual’s health condition.
  • Abolish the SSP record-keeping obligations and allow employers to keep records in a flexible manner more suited to their organisation. No anticipated introductory dates have been given in relation to both matters.

The Government will introduce a new tax exemption for health related benefits paid for by employers on the recommendations of the new assessment and advisory service to support an employee’s return to work. The exemption will be capped at £500, and is expected to be included in the Finance Bill 2014.

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