Many employers have access to Human Resource personnel and Occupational Health services, but what about those SME’s who do not? How do they know what to do to support their employees who may have, or acquire a disability through illness or injury?
Firstly, for context, what is a disability? The Equality Act 2010 states that you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a “substantial” and “long-term” negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. The reasoning as to whether the definition of “disabled” is a legal one, but as an employer, if you have no access to support for that employee, what to you do and what do you need to consider?
Further reading at:
It should be noted that some health conditions automatically meet the definition of a disability, such as a diagnosis of HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Other progressive conditions (those that worsen over time) are also covered.
It should also be noted that the Equality Act also applies to the following areas:
If you have an employee who is struggling at work due to a disability, just think for a moment how it must be if they couldn’t undertake an essential component of their work due to a health problem? What can employers and businesses do to support one of their largest assets – their staff? Healthcare professionals have long understood the value that work can bring – there is evidence that work is good for physical health, mental health and well-being. People do not need to be 100% fit to engage with work and a goal may be to enable the employee to safely remain in or return to work wherever possible.
As Occupational Therapists, we are uniquely placed health care professionals with core skills of task analysis, or functional assessment of tasks, or “occupations”, essential to daily living, and which provide a sense of purpose and meaning. We are dual trained in both physical and mental health conditions. We provide holistic assessments to identify barriers to independent living and job demands – we look at physical, psychological, cognitive, sensory, social and environmental issues and identify strategies to assist people to become more independent.
We provide specialist support to enable people to return to and sustain their employment. We focus on function to provide practical solutions and provide advice on reasonable adjustments and on absence management. Our intervention can improve lives, prevent ill-health and injury, educate employees and employers, treat the individual and save businesses money.
Specifically, we can help to provide advice in regard of:
At Rehab Jigsaw, our Occupational Therapists work with a range of commissioners. This includes directly with SME’s, from referrals from HR staff and we also work in conjunction with Occupational Health providers, Solicitors, Insurers and other health professionals, such as case managers.
We are also able to provide an Allied Health Professionals “Health and Work Report” following assessment, to complement our reports. This may demonstrate that an employee may be fit to remain in, or return to work, and to suggest options that will help. It is also suitable medical evidence for the purposes of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provided that the employee and employer agree.
Our Occupational Therapists have many years of experience and Lisa has a special clinical interest in “Work”. Lisa is on the National Executive Committee for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section for Work. Lisa has presented posters, “Occupational Therapy vocational rehabilitation following stroke – a practical guide on intervention to assist in return-to-work planning for stroke survivors”, had articles published and has developed Rehab Jigsaw with her business partner and co-director, Lynne.
We are committed to spreading the message to the wider community of businesses and employers to encourage them to support employees who may be able to retain or return to work if they are given the right support at the right time.
Rehab Jigsaw Ltd was established by Occupational Therapists and is managed by Occupational Therapists. We understand your needs and have a team of experienced, skilled and professional Occupational Therapists to offer services across the UK. If you are an employer and would like to discuss our services with us, to help an employee experiencing difficulties at work due to a health condition, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss how Rehab Jigsaw Ltd could help you.