Under a new scheme proposed by the government, employees who are absent from work for 4 weeks or more will be offered medical assessments, advice and treatment plans to get them back to work. The scheme is intended to encourage the employer and employee to work together to “have better future” (Mike Penning, MP).
Under current proposals, the scheme would be run by the private sector being paid for by removing the current SSP Percentage Threshold Scheme which allows some employers to recover compensation for SSP that it has paid out. It has been suggested by the government that employers will save money in the long run through reduced sickness absence.
It is understood that no changes will be made to existing laws and SSP provisions, which will continue to apply. Further, as the scheme is not compulsory, there remain sceptics who do not believe that the proposals, which are planned to come into effect later this year will have the intended effect. Watch this space!