The initiative known as Fit For Work (FFW) was launched in December 2014 to help people stay in or return to work after a period of illness or injury resulting in not being Fit for Work.
The service enabled GPs and employers to refer employees to an Occupational Health (OH) professional, if they had been or were likely to be off work sick for more four weeks or more.
The OH assessment part of the service will cease in England and Wales from 31st March 2018 and 31st May 2018 in Scotland.
The FFW helpline, website and webchat offering general health and work advice and sickness absence support will remain in place.
Referrals of cases to the service have been much lower than expected. There have been about 650 referrals a month in England and Wales compared to the forecasted 34,000.
By contrast the use of the advice line, webchats and the FFW’s website had exceeded expectations.
Whilst a high number of employers were aware of the service, less than 5% have had call to use it or would use it, instead accessing the general advice services via the FFW website and or from Human Resource Professionals.