Here you can find out about best practice in rehabilitation and guidance on managing sickness absence.
The type and severity of the disease will determine whether an employee can remain in work. If the employee is fit to work, it’s important that they have no further contact with the substance that’s causing the problem until a proper assessment has been made. If the employee has occupational asthma, the employer may have to give them other tasks, at least on a temporary basis, until changes in working practice or new controls are introduced. There may be cases where an employee’s symptoms are so bad that they have to take time off work to recover. If a period of absence is needed, it’s important for the employer to work with the employee to manage their return to work. As a last resort, the employer and/or employee may have to consider if the employee needs to change their job. You can get an overview of key considerations in the rehabilitation process in Work and health: changing how we think about common health problems. Also, see the TUC’s approach to rehabilitation.
The HSE also has tools and documents to help with absence management and rehabilitation. These include:
- The six elements - Return-to-work steps
- Managing sickness absence
- Managing sickness absence and return to work
- Small business sickness absence advice
- Managing sickness absence flowchart
- An absence management tool - designed by the CIPD, ACAS and HSE
- The Return To Work Knowledge Base - a resource designed to assist people to overcome injury and get back to work
- Managing attendance and employee turnover - advice from ACAS
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development factsheet on rehabilitation, with lots of helpful tips
Concepts of rehabilitation for the management of common health problems is a paper commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions, that attempts to develop an intellectual framework for policymaking, research and development.
Professional bodies - contact details
Financial help and advice
Under certain circumstances, employees can qualify for government funding for adjustments to their work environment that would help them return to and remain in work.
‘If you feel that the type of work you do is affected by a disability or health condition that is likely to last for 12 months or more, ask the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus office about Access to Work. They can put you in touch with your closest Access to Work Business Centre to check whether you're eligible for help’.
HM Revenue and Customs has a range of advice, including a calculator for statutory sick pay.