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(Department for Work and Pensions) Health is everyone's business: Proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss

25 July 2019

The BPS would like to hear from members with practical case studies or academic research demonstrating what employers can do to reduce ill health-related job loss.

In particular, we want to hear of any evidence, comments or suggestions members may have on the following areas, in each of the four chapters:

  • Chapter one sets out what needs to change to support people with health conditions to remain in work.

    - The government seeks to address workplace barriers to reducing ill health-related job loss by providing greater government support.

  • Chapter two proposes changes to the legal framework to ensure it sets out clear expectations of employers’ responsibilities to their employees.

    - The government is considering introducing a new right to request work(place) modifications on health grounds, empowering those employees not covered by the reasonable adjustments duty to seek the support they need from their employer

    - The government believes there is scope to strengthen statutory guidance to support employers to take early, sustained and proportionate steps to support a sick employee to return to work, before that employee can be fairly dismissed on the grounds of ill health

    - The government proposes to reform SSP so that it is better enforced and more flexible in supporting employees. This includes amending the rules to enable an employee returning from a period of sickness absence to have a flexible, phased return to work

    - The government will also consider whether enforcement of SSP should be included within the remit of a proposed new, single labour market enforcement body.

  • Chapter three sets out measures to reform the occupational health market to support employers to purchase high quality and cost-effective OH services where appropriate

    - The government is seeking views on ways to reduce the cost for SMEs through potential co-funding of OH, for example through a direct subsidy or voucher scheme, so that smaller employers can access the benefits of good OH advice and support

    - The government could work with partners to encourage an increase in the numbers of doctors and nurses working in OH. It could also help put in place leadership to oversee the development of the workforce in the future, and improve the information needed to support this

    - The government is considering ways to support the prioritisation and coordination of working-age health research and development, as well as ways of strengthening dissemination so that providers are able to make best use of it

  • Chapter four sets out proposals to ensure that small employers and self-employed people have access to the right support and advice in managing health at work

    - The government is seeking views on improving the provision of advice and information to support management of health in the workplace and encourage better-informed purchasing of expert-led advice. This would be promoted by a national, multiyear communications campaign outlining the advice and information available, and particularly targeted at SMEs and the self-employed

    - The government is exploring the possibility of employers automatically reporting sickness absence through their payroll system, so that government has the data to be able to provide timely and targeted guidance to employers on how to manage sickness absence.

There are 56 specific questions (listed on pages 69-75) and members are invited to respond either by answering those questions relevant to them, or by providing general advice and guidance on the topics listed above.

Getting Involved

Send your comments to [email protected] using the form below.

The deadline for responses is Monday the 23rd of September.

Please note:

  • The society will only produce ONE response to any consultation.
  • Any response that goes under the Society logo MUST be signed off by the relevant Board Chair and Branch Chair in the case of Devolved Nations.
  • Responses on behalf of particular Divisions / Faculties / Member Networks are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Please do refer to the British Psychological Society Consultation Processes document which is attached before writing and sending any comments
  • Please ensure that all comments are based on Published Evidence and not solely on clinical opinion


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