Businesses are to benefit from tax relief when they pay to help their employees return to work after sickness.
Employers will receive tax relief on expenditure of up to £500 on support such as specialist equipment or treatment that has been recommended by a new health and work assessment and advisory service.
The measure was announced in the Budget on 20 March. The government will consult on the details of the tax relief later this year ahead of the introduction of the health and work assessment and advisory service in 2014.
The service, which was announced by the government in January, will provide occupational health expertise to many small businesses for the first time. It will provide an occupational health assessment after four weeks of sickness absence, following which it will ensure individuals receive the most appropriate interventions, case management and follow-up support. Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: “Over 130 million working days are lost to sickness absence and we need to stop people falling out of work and onto long-term sickness benefits.
"The introduction of tax relief for interventions and the heath assessment and advisory service will help British business to hold on to their staff, help workers stay in work and cut the sickness benefit bill by up to £60 million per year."