Occupational Health: news in brief

Army ‘well note’ a good template, says Black

The Armed Forces’ sicknote, the FMed7, which includes a section on what sort of “light duties” can still be undertaken, could be used as a possible template for the new ‘fit note’, Dame Carol Black suggested. The British Medical Association’s Dr Peter Holden stressed the need for debate about how such reforms would be funded and questioned whether a fit note could ever be electronic, arguing that the technology was simply not in place.

Measure benefits of health initiatives

From July, the Health, Work and Wellbeing strategy organisation will be pilot testing an online tool that will allow companies to evaluate and measure the economic benefits of investing in employee health initiatives. The scheme will be run with Business in the Community and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Companies interested in taking part should e-mail info@workingforhealth.gov.uk

Too many sick people go to work, says TUC

The CBI’s focus on ‘sickies’ completely misses the point, said TUC health and safety commissioner Hugh Robertson. “The reality is that a far greater number of people stagger into work when they are ill. If your staff cannot bear to come into work on a Monday morning that is probably not something to do with your staff, it is about the culture of your organisation,” he argued.

Lie detectors to spot sickies ‘inappropriate’

Dudley Lusted, head of corporate healthcare development at AXA, criticised reports of employers backing the use of lie detectors to catch out absence cheats. “What is the greater management crime: someone being off sick every now and then when they need to be, or being harassed about getting back into work?”

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