The research, carried out amongst 118 employers, found 51 per cent of organisations expect to provide funding up to the new £500 tax break for medical interventions, with 8 per cent expecting to fund beyond the £500 limit. A further 33 per cent of employers already have cover for such treatments in place via corporate healthcare polices.
The research also found only 7 per cent of employers do not intend to make referrals to either the new health and work service or an existing occupational health arrangement. A further 15 per cent of respondents are currently undecided.
Jelf Employee Benefits head of benefits strategy Steve Herbert says: “This is hugely important. If UK employers are to effectively make any progress in tackling sickness absence it’s key that all employees who are absent for any significant period of time are assessed at an early stage. In the absence of any mandated trigger to achieve this, it’s important that employers voluntarily take advantage of either the HWS or a company-specific Occupational Health scheme.
“The HWS and tax break, will be valuable new tools in the UK’s battle against sickness absence costs. It is pleasing that so many employers are willing to consider building these new initiatives into their overall sickness-absence procedures at this early stage.
“As ever, the key to success will be the education of both employers and employees as to how these tools can be best used for each scenario. We await further details from the Government on both initiatives later this year”