90% would return to work rather than face health assessment

Nine out of 10 (90%) of employees would rather go back to work than face an independent health assessment, according to research by law consultancy Protecting.co.uk.

Sick

Its research, which surveyed 1,562 employees, also found that 78% of staff believe that a Fit for Work (formerly known as the Health and Work Service) assessment may try to force them back into the workplace before they are ready.

The scheme provides occupational health assessments to help patients on sick leave return to work.

The research also found that 34% say they have received a doctor’s note enabling them to falsely claim a week off work.

Mark Hall, spokesperson at Protecting.co.uk, said: “There’s a delicate balancing act for employers and assessors. They have genuine concerns about paying salaries for the long-term sick, but they can’t threaten them back into work.

“It will help the genuinely ill and recovering back into the habit of working, and it will also root out the skivers that cost companies thousands of pounds every year.

“It’s a tool that should help improve workplace relations, and not one to threaten sick workers.”