The new Health and Work Service (HWS), which is a government funded occupational health service covering England, Scotland and Wales, is due to go live in April 2015, with a rollout from late this year.
As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, the new service is designed to help employees and employers to manage sickness absence.
Employees will be helped to return to work by providing them with an occupational health assessment when they reach, or are expected to reach, more than four weeks’ sickness absence. Employees will normally be referred by their GPs and a resulting return to work plan will be shared with their employer and GP.
In addition, more general health and work advice will be available to GPs, employers and employees via a telephone helpdesk and a website.
The contract for the HWS for England and Wales has been awarded to Maximus, one of the largest occupational health providers in the UK. In Scotland, the HWS will be arranged by the Scottish government on behalf of the UK government.
The HWS is expected to be funded by savings made following the abolition of the percentage threshold scheme in April this year.
If you are unsure of the new HWS contact Citation now.
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