Health is everyone’s business

In my last blog post I talked about the employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace for people with a disability. On 15th July the government published a consultation document ‘Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss’.

The proposals aim to tackle several issues:

  • The UK’s ageing population means that an increasingly high percentage of the workforce have a long term health issue. Many people stop working because their employers are unable to support them. The proposals aim to minimise job loss due to long term health issues.
  • 50% of working people with a disability work for SMEs who cannot make the necessary adjustments to accommodate their health issues. The proposals aim to assist employers to make required adjustments.
  • It is estimated that there are 12.7 million people of working age who have either a disability or a long-term health problem. The proposals aim to reduce the number of people who leave their jobs because of a disability or long-term health problem.

The proposals are based on the premise that employers should do more to support employees with health issues and that the government can provide more help for employers to do so.

Summary of the proposals

  • extending the right to request workplace adjustments to the entire workforce providing they can make a case for a workplace modification on the grounds of ill health
  • during a phased return to work allowing payment of pro-rated SSP for the hours not worked in addition to usual salary for hours worked
  • amending the qualifying days rule to make it easier to understand
  • widening the eligibility to receive SSP to those on lower incomes. Currently, employees earning less than £118 a week do not qualify for SSP
  • early advance notice to the employee regarding when their SSP will stop
  • a possible rebate of SSP
  • introducing reporting of sickness absence through payroll systems
  • options to reduce the cost of occupational health services to SMEs

The consultation closes on 7th October 2019.

You can find out more on the government website.