Calls for greater commitment to rehabilitation for employees

New
research has found that as many as 27,000 staff are forced to leave work due to
illness or injury and never return because rehabilitation services are so poor.

The
Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the TUC have joined forces to call
for greater employer commitment to rehabilitation, such as a mandatory
rehabilitation policy.

The
report estimates that around 14.5 million working days are lost because of
work-related ill health at a cost of over £14bn a year to the economy.

It
claims that the UK lags behind other industrialised countries in providing treatment
for employees injured or made ill by work and calls for a more co-ordinated
approach, with employers at the forefront.

Getting
back to work blames a lack of early intervention, uneven distribution around
the UK and a fragmented system with no clear leadership for the poor provision
of rehabilitation.

The
ABI’s director general, Mary Francis, said the report found that all parties
were losing out under the present arrangements: "Britain’s rehabilitation
services are far from healthy. The current system is failing ill and injured
workers and their families. The longer someone is off work, the less chance
they have of returning. This can have far reaching consequences for the injured
person and their employer," she said.

The
report called for greater awareness of the importance of rehabilitation and TUC
general secretary John Monks said any changes would require government
leadership: "People who are injured or ill should be able to keep their
jobs and get back to them as soon as possible. With so many people invalided
out of work each year, getting them back to work is the crucial challenge of
the next decade. Making retention and rehabilitation happen will require
leadership and partnership," he said.

www.abi.org.uk   www.tuc.org.uk

By Ross Wigham

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