What is the Fit for Work service?

Fit for Work is a Government-funded service providing occupational health assessments on referral from the employee's GP or employer, where an employee is absent from work for at least four weeks. It also provides advice for employers, employees and GPs on matters relating to health and work. The assessment referral service is fully operational from 8 September 2015. The advice service, which is delivered through a website and telephone helpline, has been in operation since the beginning of January 2015.

Where an employee is referred to the service, an adviser from the Fit for Work service will carry out an occupational health assessment, usually over the phone. The employee will be provided with a return-to-work plan, with recommendations for steps that could help him or her to return to work. The return-to-work plan will be shared with the employer, unless the employee does not consent to this.

The employee will have a case manager at the Fit for Work service, who can arrange a further assessment if necessary. The employee will be discharged from the service:

  • on returning to work;
  • at the point when the service can no longer provide assistance (if this occurs within the first three months of absence); or
  • if he or she has not returned to work after three months.