Sickness absence can have serious implications for the productivity of manufacturing companies. The EEF estimates that around 5% of manufacturing workers are off work on long-term sickness absence each year. This equates to 2.7 million working days and a total cost of £1.5 billion for the manufacturing sector (EEF 2016 Sickness Absence Survey).

Fit for Work is a free government-backed service that is here to help manufacturing companies deal with sickness absence and support staff back to work who have been off work for four weeks or more.

What can you do as an employer?

How to make the most of this free service and see how it could benefit your company:

  • Identify any employee who is currently off sick and has been for at least four weeks
  • Discuss Fit for Work with them and refer them for a consultation

  • Build Fit for Work into your sickness absence policies and procedures
  • Ensure that all managers and staff are aware of the need to discuss a referral to Fit for Work at the appropriate time

When you are ready to refer an employee for a Fit for Work consultation, click ‘refer an employee’. Or, if you want to get advice or more information, use our online resources or call the free telephone advice line on 0800 032 6235 to speak to a Fit for Work adviser.