HWS – more news and that consent issue (again)…

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Following hot on the heels of the Health and Work Service (HWS) news from last Friday afternoon, and my post of the same day, is this article from Workplace Savings and Benefits Magazine:

WS&B Magazine: HWS provider expects employee only relationship

The concern here must be that the apparent onus of the relationship seems to be perhaps even more biased towards the employee than was originally anticipated – with the employer kept (presumably) at arms-length.  This in turn will present some major challenges for employers, particularly around the consent issue which I covered in my post from earlier this year (please follow link):

HWS consent post

If this employee bias really is the direction of travel (which on available evidence seems likely), then this may result in the HWS being under-utilised for some years to come.  Which in turn will do little to help employers control the cost, and duration of, sickness absence.

In the meantime, those employers who are keen to utilise HWS should once again turn their thoughts to how they best obtain employee consent in this process.

I shall watch this one with interest.

Best regards

Steve

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About the author

Steve Herbert is an award-winning thought leader on Pensions and Employee Benefit issues. His principal aim is better communicating the value and usage of employee benefits to employers. This he has achieved through many (highly successful) seminar series over the last decade, and his regular and widely read blog posts on the subject.
He also acts as a judge in HR and Employee Benefits industry awards, article writer, and product innovator. Steve is a regular contributor to DWP forums and compulsive responder to formal Government Consultations on pension and employee benefit issues. He is occasionally accused of making employee benefits interesting.