Can your business afford long-term absence?

Can your business afford long-term absence? Can your employee afford to be absent for a long period through no fault of their own?

An estimated 137.3 million working days were lost to sickness absence in 2016 – over 30 per cent of which were due to long-term illness (four weeks or more). This equates to roughly 4.3 days per worker, with the mean annual cost of absence totalling £522 per employee.

Research also suggests that being out of work for long periods of time is damaging to both social and financial well-being as well as health.

Has your employee been off for more than 4 weeks?

Work helps people stay mentally fit and focused. But if they are unfortunate enough to fall ill and be subject to an absence of four weeks or more, get support with a Government funded initiative offering free Occupational Health Assessments to help employees return to work.

There are two elements to the Fit for Work Service for Employers, Employees and GP’s:

  • Free, expert and impartial work-related health advice via its website and telephone line
  • Referral to an occupational health professional for employees who have been, or who are likely to be, off sick for four weeks or more.

The occupational health professional will identify obstacles preventing the employee from returning to work and produce a Return to Work Plan tailored to the employee’s needs.

Referrals can be made by GPs, and employers can refer an employee if they have not yet been referred by their GP after four weeks of absence.

Employees will need to consent to be referred to Fit for Work and for the Return to Work Plan to be shared with their GP and employer.

For more information please visit the Fit For Work Service website.

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