The problem of workers on long-term sick leave is being tackled by a new
The WorkCare project, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the
Department of Health, provides free rehabilitation services to workers who are
off sick for between six and 26 weeks. It will run for two years, working with
volunteers on long-term sick leave to help them back into their jobs.
It is being piloted mostly in the West Midlands and the South East, covering
Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Medway, Dartford, selected areas of London, Birmingham,
Wolverhampton, Walsall, Telford and areas of South Staffordshire and Derby.
There will also be pilots running in Greater Glasgow, Teeside, Tyneside and
Research by WorkCare showed that the number of people on leave and receiving
benefits in the West Midlands was significantly higher than the national
average of 4.3 per cent.
In some parts of the South East, the number on incapacity benefit was almost
double of that in the rest of the UK.