Summary: Evaluation of the 2010–13 Fit for Work Service pilots: final report

Hillage J, Williams M, Marvell R, Shiels C, Gabbay M, Weston K, Humphreys I |   | Department for Work and Pensions | Jun 2015

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Following Dame Carol Black’s 2008 review of the health of Britain’s working-age population, a series of Fit for Work Service pilots was established to offer support for people in the early stage of sickness absence,  particularly for employees working in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A first wave of 11 pilots was launched between April and June 2010 throughout Great Britain, initially for a year. Seven of the pilots were funded for a further two years, to March 2013.

This report pulls together the available evidence about whether the seven pilots achieved their aims and in particular their effect on returning sickness absentees to work. It is based on a range of evidence including: management information about the clients and the costs of each pilot; and an analysis of the time taken for clients to return to work compared with local controls. These data are supplemented by qualitative and survey evidence gathered as part of the first year evaluation and pilot summaries edited by the pilots themselves.

A first evaluation report covering the 11 first wave pilots’ experience in their first year was published in 2012.