The new Health & Work Service, which is a government funded occupational health service, is due to go live in April 2015 (with roll-out from late 2014).
The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a press release announcing that the contract for the H&WS for England and Wales has been awarded to Maximus, one of the largest occupational health providers in the UK. In Scotland, the H&WS will be arranged by the Scottish government.
I'll be talking more about the Health & Work Service at my last three Employment Law MasterClasses in London, Edinburgh and Manchester in October. In summary, employees off sick for more than four weeks will be referred to the H&WS by their GP. The H&WS will produce a report to help integrate the employee back into the workplace. The assessment of the employee will done entirely by internet/telephone, and questions have been raised about how useful the reports will be (with the employer having very limited input into the process).