Fit for Work Scheme Complete - Employers can now refer Employees for Assessment

SMEs and Virtual Offices London with employees on sick leave can now send staff to free referrals after 4 weeks off.

The national rollout of the Fit for Work scheme has finally been completed in England and Wales.

This means that employers are now able to refer their employees who have been off work sick for four weeks or more for a free Fit for Work referral. 

Fit for Work provides a free work-focused health assessment and a return to work plan for employees who have been off sick from work or will be for four weeks or more.

The referral can be made by phone or online. Whilst it is normal for GPs to make Fit for Work referrals, employers can now do it too.  

For an employer to make a Fit for Work referral, the employee must:

  • have been off for four weeks
  • have reasonable possibility of a staggered return to the (occasionally virtual) office
  • have not previously been referred or attended a Fit for Work assessment within the last year
  • have given consent before to being referred. 

However, if the employee’s GP has already made a referral, the employer cannot make one.