03 Jul Are you ‘Fit for Work’…
After countless amounts of study and research, we can easily establish that sickness absence is a major problem in the UK economy, which we have previously identified in other blogs. This week’s addition is based upon the ‘Fit for Work’ scheme the government have introduced which consists of two key elements: Health and work advice through telephone and on-line services to all employers, employees and GPs. Secondly, an occupational health assessment for employees, specifically focusing on a period of sickness absence lasting four weeks or more. Here at Annurca, we believe this is an ideal opportunity for this project to adopt businesses such as ourselves to carry out these health assessments to ultimately help the economy cut significant costs and boost the productivity of the business with a happier and healthier workforce.
131 million days were lost due to sickness absences in the UK in 2013. We all know that this incurs significant costs for employers (e.g. the cost of temporary cover, lost productivity, etc.) and individuals (e.g. loss of earnings). Furthermore, getting back to work after an extended, involuntary period of absence can be extremely hard, which is why keeping periods of absence as short as possible is in the interests of all. The main causes of sickness absence in the UK are musculoskeletal disorders (e.g. back and neck pains), minor illnesses, and stress, anxiety and depression, which we have identified in the past. In fact, musculoskeletal disorders and mental health issues feature in the top three causes of long-term absences (four weeks or more) too – over 30% of long-term absences are due to musculoskeletal disorders, and over 20% are down to mental ill health. The figures are staggering, and our intentions here at Annurca are to help contribute towards reducing these figures, given the scale of the problem of long-term sickness, hence the introduction of Fit for Work in the UK.
Fit for Work’s main objective is to reduce the time an employee is off work through sickness, and this will be achieved by carrying out the two key elements stated above. To facilitate employees’ return to work and help employers to manage sickness absence better within their organisations, Annurca are excited to help Fit for Work achieve their goals and we believe that a healthy and happier employee, not only leads a better, healthier lifestyle with increased morale, but is barely off sick and achieves optimum performance within the business. It is just the beginning and a long road ahead to help reduce sickness absence in the UK, the economy could do with a saving at the moment, and why can’t we contribute towards this and make a difference to people’s lives? No reason at all. We want to help as many people as possible live healthy and happy lives for the rest of their days. Once we do that, we’re happy, ultimate job satisfaction.