Long Term Sickness

30th November 2011
Long Term Sickness image

Government Review/Long Term Sickness Absence

In November 2011 the Government published the results of a review of sickness absence.  The review recommends the creation of an Independent Assessment Service (IAS) which would assess whether people are fit to work when they have been signed off for four weeks, relieving GP’s of this task.  According to the authors of the review, GP’s do not have sufficient time to perform in-depth assessment of individuals and they have not had training in occupational health which can make it difficult for them to make decisions on an individual’s ability to continue working

The proposed IAS would assess a person’s functional capacity and would make recommendations about a person’s ability to return to work immediately (or with work place adjustments) or whether the person is not fit to return to work at all.

The review believes that if the IAS is implemented that it would allow up to 20% of the 300,000 people currently off work in the UK to get back to work sooner and help reduce the £15 billion cost to the UK economy each year.

Other proposals of the review include:-

  1. The payment of Job Seeker’s Allowance rather than Employment Support Allowance (for a period of three months) to people who are signed off sick.  This means that they would receive less money and would have to prove that they were looking for work;
  2. Tax incentives for firms to take on or retain staff with long-term conditions;
  3. Statutory Sick Pay record keeping obligations to be abolished, reducing the administrative burden for employers and saving an estimated £44 million; and
  4. Government-backed help to find a more appropriate job for those who can no longer do what they have been doing.

Daven Nagen, head of the Maples’ Employment Team commented as follows:-

“In theory this sounds great.  From my experience of these matters GP’s do not have the time or skills to properly assess the ability of a patient to return to work (with or without adjustments) and many too often pander to the wishes of the patient.  In turn such a patient can often drift into idleness, especially with the attractive State Benefits currently available.  The IAS might just help to enable employers to manage staff absence more effectively.  At the same time I am concerned that this might just be a money saving exercise which may become too punitive on employees and not ultimately look to their best interests.”

For further advice on this review and the possible implementation of the IAS please contact Daven Nagen on 01775 722261 or email daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or contact him at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH

Dementia Friends image

Dementia Friends

Maples Solicitors are proud to announce that they have now joined to become Dementia Friends which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

The private client department of Maples Solicitors prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney on a regular basis and this often involves dealing with clients who are suffering from dementia. The private client team pride themselves on spending as much time as is necessary to assist all of their clients, but those suffering from dementia often require additional assistance and time to ensure that they have fully understood the legal documentation that they are creating. The private client department are regularly complimented on the way they deal with such clients, whether this be explaining things to them in a clear and uncomplicated manner, spending time with them or putting them at ease.

It is a misconception that anyone suffering from dementia cannot make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Only if someone lacks sufficient mental capacity are they unable to make such a document. It is therefore vitally important upon any diagnosis of dementia that legal advice is taken as soon as possible to make sure that your affairs are in order so that it is easier for your family to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

To become Dementia Friends, Maples Solicitors have pledged to develop their understanding of dementia and continue assisting clients suffering from dementia with their legal affairs in a respectful, friendly and efficient way that is not daunting making the process as easy as possible.

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Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.