Policy News Journal - 2016-17

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals ……………………………………………………………Policy News Journal

Foresight - Future of an ageing population project 29 September 2016

Government Office for Science, as part of it Foresight project recently published a report that brings together evidence about today’s older population which highlights the vital role that employers will play in adapting to an ageing workforce. The report Future of an Ageing Population also includes detail of future trends and projections that identify the implications that these will have for the UK. This evidence will help government to develop the policies needed to adapt to an ageing population. “The proportion of the working age population aged between 50 and the state pension age (SPA) will increase from 26% in 2012 to 35% in 2050 – an increase of approximately 8 million people. This is the result of increases to the SPA, as well as the so called ‘baby boomers’ reaching this age band. The productivity and economic success of the UK will therefore be increasingly tied to the productivity and success of its ageing workforce. Encouraging older people to remain in work will help society to support growing numbers of dependents, while providing individuals with the financial and mental resources needed for longer periods of retirement. The employment rate currently declines from 86% for 50 year olds, to 65% for 60 year olds and 31% for 65 year olds.” The future of ageing project work is lead by an expert team of academics and ageing experts and their latest blog entry by Anna Dixon, CEO of Centre for Ageing Better calls to action all stakeholders, to remind us that “ If we want to shape the future so more people enjoy a good later life, we need action today.”

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Eligibility for Fit for Work referrals 30 September 2016

Employed people in England and Wales who have been off work due to illness for four weeks or more can be referred by their employer or GP for a free occupational health evaluation.

The evaluation identifies the obstacles delaying an employee’s return to work and provides recommendations to help the employee return to work quickly and safely. In order to ensure that the free Fit for Work referrals are available for those who need them, however, they are subject to a set of eligibility criteria . Even if people aren't eligible for referral, the free online resources on the Fit for Work website ( blogs , guides on the advice hub , ability to ask a question by email / web chat ) and the free telephone advice line (0800 032 6235 - English, 0800 032 6233 - Cymraeg) can be accessed by anyone who needs help with work-related health matters.

Eligibility for a Fit for Work assessment depends on five factors.

1. Location Those living in England and Wales can be referred via fitforwork.org , while those in Scotland have a separate service, available via fitforworkscotland.scot .

2. Work status Those who are in paid employment are eligible, those who are self-employed or unemployed are not.

3. Length of sickness absence GPs can refer patients who have been off sick or who in their view are likely to be off sick from work for four weeks or more. Employers can refer employees who have reached four weeks of sickness absence and have not yet been referred by their GP. Those who have been off work for reasons other than illness, or who have not been absent for the stipulated period of time, are not eligible for the service. Employees cannot self-refer but can ask their GP or employer to refer them.

4. Past referral


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