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The Government has called for a major review of the sickness absence system in Great Britain in order to help combat the staggering £100 billion that working age ill health costs the economy every year.
The independent review will explore radical new ways on how the current system can be changed to help more people stay in work and reduce costs.
Under the current system employers bear the costs of short term sickness with the State, and ultimately the taxpayer, absorbing the cost of longer-term ill-health, with over 300,000 people leaving work to claim sickness-related benefits each year - making up around half the total flow on to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Once out of work these people face an even greater risk of their health deteriorating even further, and the potential of themselves and their families falling into poverty.
Ministers are determined to end this vicious cycle and are clear that in these difficult economic times, the country cannot afford to continue to bear these costs.
The review will feed into the wider Employment Law Review, which is looking at measures to reduce red tape and remove the burdens on business, encourage growth and maximise flexibility for employers and employees.