Mark Harvey, secretary of Apil, said the consultation paper 'Getting Back to Work' issued recently by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the TUC was a step in the right direction in identifying key problems and getting injured people back into employment.
The consultation paper aims to promote discussion and debate on the subject of rehabilitation to the workplace to advance knowledge and interest in the subject and ultimately the introduction of a more effective system of rehabilitation. The ABI and TUC wish to see the UK operate a system whereby all those injured or off work due to illness, regardless of the cause, could benefit from a rehabilitation programme.
According to Apil, funding is a fundamental obstacle and spreading the cost of rehabilitation among a number of stakeholders rather than expecting one organisation to foot the bill may alleviate the problem. Harvey said: “It is unfair to place such a burden on one single body. It would be much more sensible for employers to pay for rehabilitation and then be able to recoup some of their costs from an insurer or Government grant.”
He added: “The NHS recovers costs of certain treatments from insurers and we see no reason why employers should not be able to do the same for the costs of rehabilitation.”
Other areas of concern raised by the Apil included the “insufficient independence” between insurers and rehabilitation providers and it called for greater awareness of rehabilitation in the workplace, with employers playing a key role in the process.