The Fit for Work Scheme has had some press coverage recently. It is part of the government’s attempts to assist people back to work, and away from sickness benefits. There is a free telephone number – 0800 032 6235 for England & Wales – and a website – www.fitforwork.org, or www.fitforworkscotland.scot.
These steps are not mandatory but the aim is to enable small companies to have access to occupational health schemes. The scheme is designed for employees that have been absent for more than four weeks, or are expected to be absent for four or more weeks. The result is a Return to Work Plan with advice and recommendations with how to get the employee back to work.
The referral for an occupational health assessment is free, and from the 1st January 2015 there is a £500 tax exemption per employee per year for recommend medical treatments. This has no direct impact to payroll, other than maybe there will be less SSP. If you want more information there are guidance notes available here.