Changes could mean sick staff being bullied back to work

UNISON voices concern over government’s changes to fit-for-work service

UNISON is warning that a change to the fit-for-work service implemented on 8 September could increase bullying.

Previously, only GPs could refer to the service but now employers can refer employees to the service after four weeks.

UNISON is concerned that this change could increase bullying in the workplace as employers use undue influence to make sick and vulnerable staff return to work before they are fully ready or before adequate support is put in place by the employer.

The scheme is supposed to be designed to give first-line support for employees, employers and GPs in a bid to get sick staff back to work. It is not an alternative to occupational health provision provided by the employer.