July 15, 2008

Long-Term Sick Need Help to Return

ATTEMPTS by the Government to move the long-term sick off benefits and back to work risked being undermined by poor levels of rehabilitation in the workplace, according to a new report.

A survey of over 800 employers found that more than a third offered no rehabilitation support to help staff return from a period of sick leave.

The study, by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, discovered that public sector employers were more likely to offer support than private firms.

Ben Willmott, of the CIPD, said more needed to be done to stem the "steady stream" of workers going on longterm sick leave.

"Increased use of workplace rehabilitation support and services has a key part to play in achieving this, and in particular the provision of access to occupational health services, the use of flexible working and the provision of access to counselling."

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