Fit for work pilots on the right track
Posted Thursday 19 February 2009
Mind welcomes the Government’s announcement today (19 February) to pilot Dame Carol Blacks ‘Fit for Work’ proposals to provide more support for employees during sickness absence.
Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, said:
"Mind has long been calling for more support for people with mental health problems who are absent from work. Far too many people are simply written off by their employers and health professionals when what they really need is support to retain their jobs and get back to good health. Throwing people on the scrapheap after a period of absence has got to stop being seen as an option.
"The Government’s ‘Fit for Work’ pilots are an important first step in providing people with the support they deserve. Personalised, early-intervention approaches will help employees both manage their health and stay engaged with employment, and could help prevent people on sickness absence losing their jobs altogether.
"For people who are signed off work with mental health problems, the first few months away from the workplace are crucial in determining whether they make a successful return to work. Being signed off work for mental distress can deal a massive blow to people’s confidence, and without support from health and employment services or an employer, it’s all too easy to fall out of sync with working life.
"However, responsibility for supporting staff doesn’t just fall to health services – it’s also up employers. Employers need to ensure they promote a mentally health workplace and keep in contact with absent employees, so that they feel prepared and ready to return to work."
Notes to editors
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress.
- For more information or interviews please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: email@example.com ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
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