Fit for Work has recently been visiting cities throughout England and Wales to deliver a series of employer Roadshows. The 12 sold-out events, which have now concluded, were designed to help employers understand Fit for Work and how to refer their employees, as well as discuss the issue of long-term sickness absence and put questions to a panel of experts.
At the Roadshows, Fit for Work representatives teamed up with workplace advice and conciliation service Acas, to deliver a comprehensive briefing to attendees. David Frost CBE also visited parts of the country with the Fit for Work team, giving a presentation on why he recommended Fit for Work in his 2011 ‘Independent Review of Sickness Absence’ report. Each Roadshow event concluded with a Q&A session, where attendees could put their questions to a panel of experts, including David Frost CBE and representatives from Fit for Work, Acas and the UK Government’s new Work and Health Unit.
Attendees at the events included large employers such as Tesco and public sector organisations like local councils, as well as SMEs, consultants and occupational health specialists.
Mike Dilke, Owner of RelaxBack UK, who attended the London Roadshow, said:
“I run a business that supplies high-end ergonomic furniture to companies for their staff. As such, I’m very interested in the issue of musculoskeletal conditions, which can often cause long-term sickness absence.
“The event in London was a really useful and informative event. I was very interested to hear the statistic from Fit for Work that if people can be helped back to work around the 28 day mark then they are far more likely to stay in work, which was something I didn’t know before.”
Nicky Baillie, HR Advisor and Amanda Scott, Occupational Health Nurse Lead at Newcastle City Council, who attended the Newcastle Roadshow, added:
“Following this seminar we certainly felt reassured that the Fit for Work resource would fill the gap in occupational health and support for employees and managers in small and medium sized companies that have not previously had the benefit of the service in the past. The scheme has clarity in its goals and I hope it succeeds, as it should make a valuable contribution to reducing long term sickness absence. I believe the key to its success is constantly raising public awareness so it can achieve its target market in its pilot stage.”
For those of you who couldn’t make it to the Roadshows, we have created two comprehensive webinars of the two presentations given at the Roadshows by Dr. Sundar Thava, GP Engagement Lead, and David Frost CBE. You can find the webinars at fitforwork.org/webinars, and employers looking to start referring their employees to Fit for Work can visit fitforwork.org/employer/ and click on ‘refer an employee’.