As we’ve already reported, the Health and Work Service (HWS) in England and Wales* will be launched towards the end of this year with a phased roll-out until May.
The aim of the service is to cut sickness absence by offering health assessments and return-to-work plans to employees who have been off sick for longer than four weeks. The service will also offer general health and work advice to GPs, employers and employees by telephone and via a website.
Now the Government has just announced that the HWS will be delivered by Health Management, an occupational health provider owned by MAXIMUS (an organisation that partners with governments around the world to deliver health and human services programmes that improve the life of people globally).
According to Lord Freud, minister for welfare reform:
“The introduction of the Health and Work Service is an important step in supporting employees, GPs and employers to manage sickness absence better.
“Providing support where it’s needed most will help to reduce the length of time employees take off sick which, in turn, will cut sick pay costs, improve economic output and reduce the chances of people falling out of work and having to claim benefits, all contributing to the government’s long-term economic plan.”
*In Scotland, the service will be delivered by the Scottish Government on behalf of the UK Government.