The new ‘Fit for Work’ service is to be run by Maximus in England and Wales, the same company brought in to replace Atos to carry out the despised assessments for out of work sickness and disability benefits. In a major embarrassment for DWP Ministers, Fit To Work was expected to launch late last year but so far all Maximus have managed is a website and a phoneline.
When the service is finally implemented employers will be able to refer staff to Fit for Work if they have been absent due to sickness for four weeks. GPs will have additional powers to make a referral from the first day of sickness provided the period of absence is expected to last over four weeks. The patient cannot refer themselves, although they can, at present, refuse to be referred. What employers will make of that refusal is anybody’s guess.