Proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss and “tackling the sick note culture” | Moorepay

Employment Legislation

Proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss and “tackling the sick note culture”


Proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss and “tackling the sick note culture”




Following previous proposals by the government to reduce ill health-related job loss and consultation on this subject between July and October 2023, the subject remains an important and controversial topic in the UK. 


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

These include:

  • A review of the fit note system to stop people being written off as “not fit for work” by designing a new system where each fit note conversation focuses on what people can do with the right support in place, rather than what they can’t do

  • Shifting the responsibility for issuing the fit note away from GPs, towards specialist work and health professionals who will:

  1. Have the time and expertise to provide an objective assessment of each individual and their ability to work and provide the bespoke support they may need.

  2. Design a new system where people have easy and rapid access to specialised work and health support to help them back to work.


The WorkWell pilots have been launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). 


Their aim is to provide a single, integrated assessment and gateway into both employment support and local health services. This initiative helps individuals manage their conditions and identifies workplace adjustments or support to enable them to stay in work or return sooner.

Participation in the WorkWell pilots is voluntary, and individuals do not need to be claiming any government benefits to take part. The pilots aim to offer personalised support from a “Work and Health Coach” who will understand the participant’s current health and social barriers to work and help develop a plan to overcome these obstacles.

Additionally, the program provides advice on workplace adjustments such as flexible working or adaptive technology, facilitates conversations with employers about health needs, and offers access to local services like physiotherapy, employment advice, and counselling.

These pilots have been developed with the belief that work is an effective way to improve well-being by reducing the risk of depression, improving physical health, and building self-confidence and financial independence.

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