Guidance issued by the DWP last week on the new Fit for Work scheme makes it clear that referrals can only be made to the scheme with the consent of the employee. It also makes it clear that most health assessments will be carried out over the telephone.
Fit for Work is the new DWP scheme intended to cut sickness absence and ESA claims by getting sick employees back to work more quickly. In England and Wales the scheme has been outsourced to a branch of Maximus, the company also taking over the work capability assessment contract from Atos later this year. In Scotland fit for work is being delivered by the Scottish government.
GPs and employers can refer employees for an occupational health assessment via the Fit for Work service once they have been off sick for a month, provided that there is a reasonable prospect of the employee retuning to work. The employee must consent before a referral can be made.
Fit for work will carry out a ‘biopsychosocial holistic assessment’ of the employee over the telephone and draw up a return to work plan on the basis of that call. In a small number of cases a face-to-face assessment will be carried out.
For GPs, the attraction of a referral is that once a return to work plan has been drawn up by Fit for Work the GP will no longer be responsible for providing sick notes.
Employers receive a tax exemption of up to £500 per year, per employee on medical treatments recommended by Fit for Work to help their employees return to work.
Source – Benefits & Work, 06 Jan 2015
“We’re all in it together” are we, George?
The Conservative Party represents “fairness”, “for hardworking people”, does it, David?
It seems not – if we are to judge the Conservative Party by its actions, rather than its words.
Yesterday a website focusing on graduate careers blew the full-time whistle on these deceptions, exposing how the Tories have been briefing MPs and candidates on ways to avoid paying the minimum wage by exploiting the perceived differences between volunteers, interns and paid employees.
The article on Graduate Fogsaid a memo circulated to Party members was advising them to start calling their unpaid interns ‘campaign volunteers’, in order to evade “potential hostile questioning” about exploitative business practices.
The Conservative Party has denied doing anything wrong by providing advice on ways its…
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Yesterday we posted an item of “research” that stated that –
Two thirds of the region’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) intend to recruit new staff in 2014, a study shows.
Research by Yorkshire Bank also found North East businesses which plan to create new jobs expect to grow employee numbers by 11%.
It also found that 64% of North East SMEs intend to recruit new employees.
On average, the North East’s 135,000 SMEs expect to recruit more than 7% more staff. If this figure is applied to the North East’s total SME workforce of 429,000, almost 31,000 new jobs could be created.
Alan Young, regional director for Business and Private Banking with Yorkshire Bank in the North East of England, said: “SMEs are crucial to the UK economy and its emerging recovery and we will continue to support them in 2014.”
What a difference a day makes ! We did warn yesterday that this was at best a guess and not a statement of fact. Today we learn that –
A quarter of small and medium-sized firms are supporting their businesses with personal savings and handouts from family and friends, a report has claimed.
Business funding specialist Bibby Financial Services, which commissioned the research, said the reliance on personal finance prevented firms from being able to take advantage of the first stage of economic recovery.
The survey revealed that almost half of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) used just one source of funding, with 20% of firms saying they relied on a bank overdraft and the same amount again using a bank loan.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 01 Jan 2014
Two days, two different pieces of “research” that appear to contradict each other. Who do you believe ?
Neither, I guess. You can only keep on keeping on as best you can, hope for the best but plan for the worst.
From the xmas edition of Fortean Times (#309) – available from all good newsagents (and W.H. Smiths).
In an assessment for Employment Support Allowance, Gary Swift, 40, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, who was born without a right arm, was asked (in all seriousness):
“Do you expect your arm to grow back within the next two years ?”
The interviewer was an employee of Atos, a company that runs the assessments for the Department for Work & Pensions.
Well, they do say you could wheel a week-old corpse in front of Atos and they would pass it fit for work… growing a new arm seems quite a minor expectation by comparison.