This week has seen the launch of the highly publicised ‘fit notes’ for workers who take sickness absences lasting longer than seven days.
The launch is the result of the overhaul of the sick note system announced a year ago by Dame Carol Black, the National Director for Health and Work, and puts the onus on employers to help staff return to work in some capacity following sickness.
With ill health currently costing the economy over £100bn a year it is hoped that this new approach will help drive this cost down in the coming years.
With the launch of fit notes the emphasis is on early intervention, and on evaluating what work an employee can do in order to return to work quickly. This has been welcomed by Dr Philip Worthington of PostureMinder who commented, “This puts extra responsibilities on employers to adapt work patterns and the office environment to the needs of the individual. Simple, early intervention with tools like PostureMinder can help prevent problems reaching the stage where major role and workplace changes are needed, or play a key role in helping returning workers recover from their problem and prevent it recurring”
“Of course, prevention is always better, and usually much cheaper, than cure, so using cost-effective tools such as PostureMinder to prevent common ailments such as back pain and RSI developing in the first place makes even greater financial sense”