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Government launches absence review

Government launches absence review

The Government has launched a review of the sickness absence system as it aims to tackle the “staggering” £100 billion annual cost to the economy. Ministers are planning for the review to look at “radical” new ways of helping more people stay in work and cut the cost of sickness to businesses and the wider economy.

The review will be led by David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, and Dame Carol Black, a government adviser on health, and the findings will be published later this year. Under the current system employers shoulder the burden of short-term sickness, while taxpayers absorb the cost of long-term ill health. The Government has outlined how it was determined to end the “vicious cycle” of people being out of work before seeing their health deteriorate further.

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, said:

“Too many people, through no fault of their own, have fallen on to a life on benefits because of the failures in the sickness absence system. This isn’t fair to the taxpayer but most of all it isn’t fair to the individual. We all have a stake in reducing sickness absence, but it’s not clear who is best placed to take responsibility for this change.”

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