Manufacturing Employers Call for Help with Sick Leave
Manufacturers’ trade organisation, EEF, published its latest annual survey this week, with findings that long term absence is increasing for more than 40% of its members, with the NHS not helping to get staff back to work.
After previously concluding that the “fit note” procedure was not fit for purpose, this year’s survey evaluated the impact of the Fit for Work service.
Fit for Work service
The key findings from the survey were not encouraging for the Fit for Work service, only 20% of companies saying they were willing to pay for employee medical treatments recommended by the service. However, this figure did rise to 60% who would pay if the cost were to be offset against allowable business expenses.
Of 306 employers that responded to the survey, only seventeen (17) had used the Fit for Work service, referring employees for assessment.
And almost one fifth (18%) of those aware of the service (awareness of the service was 78% of respondents), reported that they did not intend to use it.
Having concluded from previous annual surveys that the Fit Note procedure was not working, the most recent survey found that 45% of employers felt these are not helping their staff to return to work earlier, with most employers (47%) disagreeing with the advice given by GPs about their employee’s fitness to work, only 13% agreeing that GPs advise has improved.
Although still early days for the Fit for Work service, this is still a damning assessment of both this relatively new service (introduced in July 2015), and again the Fit Notes, the conclusions that GPs reach when completing these.