Budget provides tax relief for workplace health interventions

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced in his Budget that employers will be able to access tax relief for health-related interventions recommended by its planned health and work assessment and advisory service.

The Budget document commits the Government to introduce a targeted tax-relief scheme, so that “amounts up to a cap of £500 paid by employers on health-related interventions recommended by the service are not treated as a taxable benefit in kind”. A consultation on how this will be implemented will be launched later this year.

Responding to the recommendations of Dame Carol Black and David Frost on how to tackle sickness absence, the Government announced earlier this year that it would set up a state-funded service through which occupational-health professionals can provide employers with advice on helping employees who had fallen ill return to work.

The report also recommended that medical treatments, or vocational rehabilitation targeted at keeping sick employees in work should be eligible for tax relief. At the time, the Government was non-committal on this matter, but Chancellor Osborne has now promised to deliver, telling the House of Commons: “Companies that look after their employees, and help them return to work after periods of sickness, will get new help through the tax system”.