Ended with Response
Ended with Response

Health is everyone’s business – proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss

About this consultation

In this consultation, the UK Government’s DWP seeks views on proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss, via a range of measures aimed at improving how employers can best support those with disabilities and long-term health conditions to stay in and thrive at work. It aims to encourage all employers to take positive action to support employees who are managing health conditions at work and to manage sickness absence more effectively.


The consultation highlights that, though a record number of people are in work in Britain, far too many people with disabilities and long-term health conditions are falling out of employment and missing out on all the benefits that good work can bring. The Government is keen to tackle the barriers faced by those with disabilities and ensure they have equal life chances. It is committed to ensuring all employers have access to the support they need to help their employees. This includes improving advice and information for employers, improving the occupational health market, and exploring what financial support Government could provide to help smaller businesses and self-employed people access occupational health.

Proposed changes

The consultation focuses specifically on the vital role that employers can play in supporting people at work and the proposals include:

  • Amending the legal framework to encourage workplace modifications and early action to support individuals on sickness absence leave
  • Reforming Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) so that it is better enforced, more flexible and covers the lowest paid and potentially, rewards effective action with a new rebate
  • Improving access to occupational health (OH) services with additional support for small employers including a potential subsidy
  • Government to provide best practice advice and support for employers on managing health and disability in the workplace

Specific proposals include a new right to request work(place) modifications on health grounds for those not covered by the reasonable adjustments duty; the right for a day-one written statement for both employees and workers to include eligibility for sick leave and pay; potential SSP rebate and co-funding of OH services for SMEs e.g. via subsidy or voucher; more flexible SSP to support phased returns to work; efforts to increase the supply of high-quality, cost-effective OH services; and a multi-year advice and information campaign, particularly targeted at SMEs and the self-employed.

Consultation questions

The Government’s questions for this consultation (56 in total) can be found in the Annex on pages 69-75. Respondents don’t have to answer all questions in any section.

We invite IOSH members to send us comments on DWP’s consultation to consultation@iosh.com, to help inform an IOSH submission, by 13 September 2019.

IOSH members wishing to also respond individually to the DWP can do so by completing its online survey at by 11.45pm on Monday 07 October 2019.