Since the start of this year, the Government has been rolling out a new, pro-active approach to sickness absence. The Fit for Work scheme not only aims to offer helpline support to employers, employees and health professionals but also an independent health assessment service.

National roll-out is now complete and many employers will by now have had dealings with Fit for Work, the key trigger point being once an employee is absent from work for 4 weeks and consults a GP. The longer term plan had always been that employers, as well as GPs, would be able to refer their staff for assessment for a review of their circumstances and to facilitate their return to work, where possible. Today, that opportunity has been opened up to employers.

For further information regarding the referral process see: or, in Scotland,