In 2015 the Government launched Fit for Work, a free service offering general work related health advice to employees, employers, GPs and the general public. The service also provides occupational health assessments for employees at risk of long-term sickness absence (4 weeks or more) to identify supportive action to help them return and remain in work.
Following various reviews the government has now published their strategy for the future of work, health and disability. Part of this looked at the Fit for Work schemes and found that there had been very low take up of the occupational health assessment side of the schemes.
It has been reported that the provision of occupational health assessments under these schemes will end in 2018. However the advice and guidance elements will remain in place including telephone advice line, web chats and public website. These can be accessed at https://fitforwork.org/or in Scotland https://fitforworkscotland.scot/. The Gov.Uk website states that new referrals in England and Wales will end on 31st March 2018 and 31st May 2018 in Scotland.