A timely response
Early intervention is key in the case of sickness absence. Evidence shows that absentees who are called by Occupational Health on the same day return to work quicker than those called on subsequent days. For our model, the nurse will call on day one, and write an email to the manager with information on:
- Approximate length of absence
- Any treatment being received
- Whether there is any further support that would benefit them (eg. access to EAP service)
- Whether the condition is likely to be work related
- Whether any adjustments are required to enable a return to work
- Lifestyle/wellbeing general advice.
Individuals are signposted to supportive measures/help and/or EAP service.
Return to work rates after absence of 4 weeks or longer:
Musculoskeletal – 85%
Back Pain – 82%
Stress – 80%
Mental Ill Health – 75%
Acute Conditions – 66%
Other – 78%
Benefits of early intervention
Early intervention is good for both employer and employee. By addressing problems early, underlying or developing health conditions may be spotted at a stage where it is easier to treat them. The employee benefits from help, support and immediate medical advice while the employer is likely to see the employee return to work sooner. Early intervention demonstrates that the employer cares about the health of their workforce and can lead to life-changing medical interventions.