To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department is undertaking into the causes of sickness absence from work.
The Department carried out a representative survey of over 2,000 employers in 2010 on health and well-being at work. This looked at the causes of short-, medium- and long-term sickness absence from work. The findings can be found in the Department research report number 750.
The Department has also commissioned a number of research projects to evaluate the statement of fitness for work or fit notes. Two of these projects (an employee survey and a project involving the collection of fit note data) will examine causes of sickness absence from work where a fit note was issued.
The Department commissioned an independent review of sickness absence earlier in the year which reported in November. This examined the current system of sickness certification and its effectiveness. The reviewers, Dame Carol Black and David Frost, made a number of recommendations which the Government will consider in the response to the review next year.