Experts welcome IPPR’s innovations to help more employees stay in work

“Organisations must place wellbeing on a par with sickness in an effort to tackle the UK’s spiralling sickness absence rate, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has said, as it unveiled a range of innovative ideas including ‘wellbeing days’ and a large-scale extension of sick leave.

In its new report on long-term sickness absence, the IPPR estimated that 460,000 people transition from work to sickness and disability benefits a year, with employers paying £9bn a year for sick pay and associated costs. It calculated that the government spends an additional £14.5bn on support allowance. If sickness absence rates continued to spiral, the IPPR predicted that Britain’s sickness benefits bill would rise to almost £17bn by the end of the decade.

Because mental ill-health is one of the leading causes of heightened sickness absence, tackling the increase in claims for mental health conditions must be a priority for policymakers and employers alike, the IPPR said. As well as promoting more open communication around mental ill-health, the IPPR suggested that a new ‘fit pay’ payment be introduced to allow employees to temporarily reduce their hours – and stay in work – if they suffer a physical or mental health condition.

“More and more people are suffering from mental health conditions in work,” said Joe Dromey, senior research fellow at the IPPR. “We’re calling for employers and the state to do more to keep people well in work. Our proposal for fit pay will do just that, helping employees who develop a health or mental health condition to manage their condition and stay in touch with work.” 

Taken from a recently published article from People Management 17.2.17

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P3 Business Care provide the opportunity to support staff in their place of work by engaging in the workplace on a regular basis, two-three times a week, becoming a known face within the business, developing relationships and identifying issues before they become an absence issue.

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