HR managers ambivalent about Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service

admin2 January 19, 2016 0

The Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service is scheduled for delivery at the end of this year. This proposed UK employment law service should help employees and employees improve their management of sickness absence by improving the availability of workplace safety and health advice.
This service will include:
– Case management services for people with complex requirements and who need on-going support when returning to work
– Signposts to interventions for employees who can still work but are unable to do so for their current employer, including online job search scheme Universal Jobs match
– An occupational health professional assessment service for people who take more than four weeks of sickness absence
Although this service was proposed in a UK law review held by Dame Carol Black and David Frost, it may not be as effective as the government hopes. PMI Health Group research found that 86% of human resources managers in the UK are not confident that this initiative will fulfil their occupational health needs, with 81% providing management and staff with access to a workplace safety and health service, suggesting that the majority of businesses already have adequate occupational health services.
When asked about cases of long-term employee absence, 33% of HR managers surveyed said that they consult occupational physicians every time a case arises, while 53% said they did so in some cases. In cases of short term absence, 59% said they occasionally refer staff to occupational physicians, while 12% said they always do. Only 9% said the information received from GPs after employee absences regularly turned out to be useful, with its utility confined to allowing employers to understand the reasons behind an absence.
Nonetheless, PMI Health Group Director Mike Blake said the Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service might be a “step in the right direction”.
He pointed out that as the assessment service will only provide employers with advice when people have been absent for at least four weeks, it will not assist in on going health and safety monitoring processes, and will not help them develop systems to reduce levels of employee absence.

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