Fit for Work was an occupational health assessment and advice service looking to address long-term sickness absence, defined as an absence of 4 weeks or more, for people in employment. It was designed to help employees who were on, or in danger of entering, long-term sickness absence to return to and stay in work.
We commissioned this research to evaluate whether Fit for Work was implemented as designed and what the experiences of those that used the service were. There are 2 parts to the research:
- a process evaluation examining how the service was operated and whether it was working as intended
- a feasibility study which examined whether it was possible to assess the impact of the service on employment outcomes
Since commissioning the research it was announced that the Fit for Work assessment service would come to an end on:
- 31 March 2018 in England and Wales
- 31 May 2018 in Scotland
However, employers, employees and GPs will continue to have access to the same Fit for Work helpline, website and web chat, which offer general health and work advice on sickness absence.
Improving lives: the future of work, health and disability sets out plans to transform employment prospects for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions over the next 10 years. The findings of this research will help inform future policy development and reform of occupational health.
Fit for Work: final report of a process evaluation
Rosie Gloster and Clare Huxley (Institute for Employment Studies), and Rosa Marvell (University
Fit for Work: scoping the feasibility of an impact evaluation
Francisco Gonzalez Carreras (Queen Mary University of London), Jim Hillage (Institute for Employment Studies) and Stefan Speckesser (National Institute of Economic and Social Research).