Health for Work adviceline to help SMEs

Published:  12 January, 2012

LONDON: NHS Plus has launched a free service for small businesses in England to help them reduce sickness absence and improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce.

The new Health for Work Adviceline (the Adviceline) will provide vital help and support to organisations with fewer than 250 employees who often feel the burden of sickness absence the hardest, particularly during this period of relative economic instability.

The launch follows the publication in November 2011 of the Government’s independent review of sickness absence (the Review) undertaken by health and business experts Dame Carol Black (expert adviser on health and work to the Department of Health) and David Frost (former Director General, British Chambers of Commerce). The Review found that all too often the sickness absence system pushes people away from work and that employers, especially those who do not have their own occupational health services, find it very hard to get independent, bespoke advice for more complex sickness cases.

The Adviceline offers advice in three ways: Free telephone advice for employers on Freephone 0800 0 77 88 44. Self-service information through access to an extensive, intelligent, on-line knowledge base. On-line communication with a contact centre by submitting a question to the support team, or ‘chatting’ directly with a member of the team (a form of instant messaging).

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