Contract for Government's new Health & Work Service awarded to leading occupational health provider

22 August 2014

The contract for the Government's new Health and Work service (the Service) has been awarded to Health Management Limited (HML), a subsidiary of Maximus, one of the largest occupational health providers in the UK.

Our thanks to Pinsent Masons for the following report:

The Government-funded health service, which is due to be launched in December 2014 with a phased roll out until May 2015, seeks to assist employees who are sick and off from work, by providing them with an occupational health assessment when they have reached over four weeks sickness absence. The new scheme is predicted to reduce sick pay costs to business in the UK by £80 million to £165 million a year, whilst also increasing economic output by up to £900 million a year.

Service provided to an individual under the scheme will feature two aspects:

1.Assessment service: Upon reaching, or in anticipation of four weeks sickness absence, the employee's GP will make a referral to HML for an assessment, which should identify any issues preventing the employee from returning to work, make recommendations for treatment, and produce a report detailing a "Return to Work Plan". A case manager will also be appointed to help facilitate better understanding of any recommendations and required support to the employee.

2.Advice service: Any health and work advice will be made available to employees, employers and GPs via the phone line and website.

The Service will be provided by HML in England and Wales, and in Scotland, by the Scottish government. For any medical treatments which are recommended to an employee under the Service or through an employer-arranged occupational health service, a tax exemption of up to £500 a year will apply.