Fit for Work is a new Government backed scheme that aims to help you to manage your health conditions and/or sickness absence through an initial telephone advice service and a referral to an assessment service for work related health advice.
Fit for Work can give you advice for all work-related health matters via a website and telephone line.
Referral for an occupational health assessment:
Fit for Work can also provide you with an opportunity to be referred for individually tailored advice from an occupational health professional if you are or are likely to be off sick from work for four weeks or more. Once referred, this health professional will talk to you about your health, assess your circumstances and create a plan with your agreement providing recommendations to help you back into work (this is a Return to Work Plan).
Fit for Work is:
- Free – accessing advice and assessments are free for you, your employer and your GP
- Quick – you can access advice from Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6.00pm in England and Wales and Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm in Scotland. A referral for an assessment can be made via web or telephone. Once a referral for an assessment is being made you will be contacted by a health professional within 2 working days
- Supportive – you can choose to be referred for a Fit for Work assessment through your GP or employer. It will provide you with a plan, agreed by you and the occupational health professional, which will also be shared with your employer and GP to help support you back into work with your consent
Your employer can accept the Return to Work Plan as evidence of sickness absence in exactly the same way as a fit note so you will not have to return to your GP for additional fit notes.
You do need to give your consent to participate in this scheme. A refusal to cooperate with your Employer is not recommended – your Employer may have to proceed with some action even if you do not consent to take part.