From the 2nd January 2015 the Department for Work and Pensions has introduced a Fit for Work Service, this helps employers manage sickness absence in the work place and provides employers, employees and their GPs access to work-related health advice
Fit for Work Provides:
Free health and work advice through a website and telephone line to help with absence prevention.
Free referral for an occupational health assessment for employees who have reached or whose GP expects them to reach, four weeks of sickness absence. The service with help employees to return to work sooner. Employees will normally be referred by their GP, but employers can also make a referral after 4 weeks of absence.
There will be a phased roll out of the referral service taking place over a period of months, the Department for Work and Pensions will announce details in early 2015.
Also, from the 1st January 2015 the Government is also introducing a tax exemption of up to £500 (per year, per employee) on medical treatments recommended to help their employees return to work. This will be applicable to treatments recommended by health professionals within Fit for Work and health professionals within employer-arranged occupational health services.
A Fit for Work Guide for employers is available to download at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fit-for-work-guidance-for-employers