An analysis of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics, by Legal & General, has shown that many people are not getting access to occupational health services that could help them at work. The figures show that over half of people referred to occupational health support services under Fit for Work Service pilots would not have otherwise accessed those services.
The Fit for Work Service is a support service which assesses the need of employees with health problems that inhibit their ability to work, and can refer employees to specialist occupational health support services. The service also provided advice and support for employers.
The data revealed that:
- Over half of people who were referred to occupational health support services would not otherwise have accessed them.
- At the high end, over seven tenths of those who accessed support services related to their job, such as ergonomic assessment, said they would not have otherwise accessed this service.
- In contrast, nearly seven tenths of those who accessed physical therapy said they would have anyway.
The findings suggest that the Fit for Work Service has the potential to play a big role in improving access to occupational health and other support services which could help people stay in work. The pilots found that over 95% of those who sought advice while still working were still in work at the end of the first years pilot. 74% of those who had been unable to work when they sought advice, were back at work within the first years pilot.
Commenting on the findings, Diane Buckley, Managing Director of Legal & General Group Protection said:
“These findings suggest that many people still are not getting access to occupational health services and other support services that can make a huge difference in keeping people in work. The Fit for Work service pilots have clearly been successful at improving access to support services, and this is very welcome. We hope that the Fit for Work Service will be expanded across the country, to help millions of people access the support they need to stay in work.”
All of Legal & General’s Group Protection policies include access to an employee assistance programme which provides telephone and online support for all managers and employees whilst at work or off sick. This programme offers advice on a wide range of issues including health problems, financial and emotional support.