Fit for Work, previously known as the Health and Work Service, is comprised of two elements:
i) Free, expert and impartial work-related health advice via a website and telephone line ii) Referral to an occupational health professional for employees who are, or are expected to, undergo a period of sickness absence from work lasting four weeks or more. The Fit for Work occupational health professional will identify obstacles preventing the employee from returning to work and produce a Return to Work Plan tailored to the employee’s needs.
The advice element of Fit for Work went live in England and Wales in December 2014.
From January 2015 some GPs in the Sheffield area had the opportunity to try the assessment service. This will be expanded across the country over a period of months from spring, building on this experience and learning.
Fit for Work Scotland is being delivered by the Scottish Government; the advice element went live in December 2014 and the referral element went live, initially in three NHS Board areas, in January 2015. As with England and Wales, this will be expanded across Scotland from the spring.