Employment Legislation

How Will a Proposal Reduce Job Loss Due to Ill Health?

Legislation

How Will a Proposal Reduce Job Loss Due to Ill Health?

Due Date

To be confirmed

Summary

The government has introduced ‘proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss’. The consultation builds a case for employers to do more to support employees with health conditions. Support might include better access to cost-effective and high quality occupational health. This is to decrease the rate of jobs being loss due to ill health, which is particularly prevalent in people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

In return the government is committed to providing more help for employers.

Key Points of the Proposal

The plan includes:

  • Changing the legal framework so that employees would be able to request workplace modifications for health reasons without being disabled within the definition of the Equality Act 2010 (employers would be able to refuse such requests for business reasons).
  • Extending SSP to those below the Lower Earnings Limit by paying it as a proportion of employees’ wages, paying a proportion of SSP during a phased return to work, and increasing fines for non-payment of SSP.
  • Increasing market capacity for, and improving the quality and value of, occupational health provision.
  • Employees will be encouraged to raise issues, and employers should accommodate these where possible. This will enable businesses to retain talent and build workplaces that support employee’s physical and mental health needs.

It has been suggested that only a fifth of employers have met the first of the “core standards” recommended by a government commissioned report into improving the mental health of employees.

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