Anyone ill for more than four weeks will face a fit-for-work test in a radical new scheme aimed at stamping out the “sick-note culture” which costs the economy billions of pounds each year.
When an employee attends their GP seeking a sick note to allow them further time off from work they will be referred to a company who will fully assess their ability to work and draw up a plan for their return.
Recent studies show that more than a million people take over a month’s sick leave each year costing the economy over £9 billion. It is hoped that this new scheme will prevent such a cost to businesses.
The new programme is being piloted in 20 GP surgeries this month before it is extended nationwide in the spring. Patients who agree to be referred will undergo a telephone assessment of their physical and mental abilities from trained nurses and occupational therapists.
Although the aim of the scheme is to stop sick notes being issued after four weeks, GPs will still have the right to offer them to patients.
If you have further questions about these changes and what they mean for you, please contact a member of our employment team on 01279 755777.