Are Employers Missing a Trick?

The 11th National Survey for Sickness Absence provokes calls from firms for tax breaks to help with the escalating problem and costs of long term sickness absence. In response, Dr Steven Boorman the Director Of Employee Health at Empactis highlights that maybe companies are already missing an opportunity when it comes to tax breaks.

You will have seen in the news yesterday that firms are calling for tax breaks to help deal with the costs of sickness absence. This is in response to stats featured in the 11th National Sickness Absence Survey. The Survey stated that more than a third (36%) of companies say that long-term sickness absence has increased over the past two years.

In response to this Dr Steve Boorman, Director of Employee Health at Empactis commented that in a sense companies already have an opportunity here but aren’t recognising it. Under the new Fit for Work Service approach if an employee has an intervention or a need recognised by an Occupational Health provider or the Fit for Work Service the employer can claim up to £500 in tax breaks to support such. There are also some circumstances in which provision of say counselling via an EAP can support an employee and reduce time off but does not attract benefit in kind tax. Clearly it is important that taxation does not dis-incentivise support to sick employees from the employer – this was recognised and highlighted in the review of sickness absence undertaken by Dame Carol Black with David Frost. Effective tracking and active case management is key to reducing sickness absence and this is why it is core to the Empactis system.