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March 20, 2013

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Budget 2013: Tax relief to incentivise workplace health interventions

Employers will be able to access tax relief for health-related interventions recommended by its planned health and work assessment and advisory service, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced in his Budget.

Each year more than 130 million working days are lost to sickness absence. Responding to the recommendations of Dame Carol Black and David Frost on how to tackle sickness absence, the Government announced earlier this year that it would set up a state-funded service through which occupational-health professionals can provide employers with advice on helping employees who had fallen ill return to work.

The report also recommended that medical treatments, or vocational rehabilitation targeted at keeping sick employees in work should be eligible for tax relief but. At the time, the Government was non-committal on this matter, but Chancellor Osborne has now promised to deliver, telling the House of Commons: “Companies that look after their employees, and help them return to work after periods of sickness, will get new help through the tax system.”

The Budget document commits the Government to introduce a targeted tax-relief scheme, so that “amounts up to a cap of £500 paid by employers on health-related interventions recommended by the service are not treated as a taxable benefit in kind”. A consultation on how this will be implemented will be launched later this year.

IOSH, which has been campaigning on the issue for several years, welcomed the decision. Head of policy and public affairs Richard Jones said: “We are delighted at the inclusion of this concession, which is an important start and recognises that removing tax disincentives could help encourage more employers to provide useful support for ill, or injured employees.€

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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9 years ago

My concern with all of this is the emphasis on sickness absence and ‘getting people back to work’.

For me this is an attempt to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. Would it not make more sense if more emphasis was on ensuring that the work and workplace did not result in people becoming sick in the first place.

9 years ago

Good news there will be some help available to get people back to work and regain quality of life, also at work. There should at the same time be some focus on activities to reduce the number of people going off ill tomorrow. We need to help the ones suffering now but also to look after new comers so they don’t have the same suffering later on. A healthy workplace is the way forward and benefits everybody. Doing businesses on the cheap is very expensive and employees feel it first.