As of the 31st March, the ‘Fit for Work‘ scheme, used largely as a free supplement for advice on employee sickness and absence, will cease to exist in England.

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Championed initially as an outsourced, largely online, solution for organisations, the GP lead service ‘Fit for Work’ was created with the view to reduce the cost of employees who were off work for four weeks or more.

The reality however, was somewhat disappointing. With poor uptake and low success rates (40% saying that those they had referred hadn’t even returned successfully to work*), the government have decided to call it a day on their scheme.

What does this mean for businesses then? Whilst the government looks to accept recommendations from the Stephenson/Farmer review on a ‘’flexible model’’ of Statutory Sick Pay which would particularly support those absent as a result of poor mental health, the central focus should now be on ensuring that line managers are appropriately trained on dealing with and managing employee absence.

The issues here posed fall heavily on the efficiency of businesses’ HR functions. Is there appropriate resource to advise, train and review policy for these line managers?

Here at Frazer John, we are looking specifically at supporting businesses that may well feel that their ­­­HR department is not best prepared for the challenges which arise from employee absence. With a 68% seeing an increase in mental health related illnesses in the workplace**, could your organisation benefit from the support of a seasoned, knowledgeable HR individual?

At this point, we are currently partnering with a number of consultants who have reduced absence by significant amounts of up to 80% across a range of industries and sectors.

If you feel that your business may profit from an hour’s consultation with an individual who has tackled these matters within an organisation similar to your own, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In addition, we are also partnering with Manchester Airport Group to host a free brunch event on 10th April, Healthy Mind, Healthy Workplace, which focuses specifically on employee well-being. Along with the opportunity to network with other like minded individuals, we will review various programmes which have been rolled out by our expert speakers in companies such as MAG-O and GlaxoSmithKline.

Find out more and book your free place at the event.


*According to a survey in August 2017, carried out on behalf of People Management by GP Magazine.
**According to research from Aon Benefits and Trends Survey, January 2018

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