Companies may find they are in need of employment law advice as the government sets out to review the problems associated with long-term sickness absence.
It is estimated that this costs the economy around £100 billion every year, so plans are underway to help more people stay in work.
"Too many people, through no fault of their own, have fallen on to a life on benefits because of the failures in the sickness absence system," explained Lord Freud, minister for welfare reform.
He emphasised that the current structure is not of benefit to either the taxpayer or employees, but it is not clear who will take responsibility for the changes.
Employers are advised to get their sickness absence policy in writing to prevent staff absence. Lawpack's Sickness Absence Policy download can help.
Earlier this month, the Trades Union Congress called for staff to benefit from pay rises as the cost of living becomes too much for some people to cope with.
It suggested that 2011 would be a tough year as workers struggle to make ends meet.
Published on: February 17, 2011