Government Publishes New Consultations on Occupational Health

Thursday 7th September 2023

The Government has launched new consultations seeking views on proposals aimed at increasing employer use of occupation health (OH) services.

The Consultations


On 20 July 2023 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published the open consultation ‘Occupational Health: Working Better’ and HM Treasury (HMT) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) published a joint consultation on ‘Tax Incentives for Occupational Health’. Together these consultations will inform the Government’s approach to supporting occupational health provision in the UK.

HMT and HMRC’s joint consultation is aimed at employers and explores the role of tax incentives in boosting occupational health provisions by employers. The DWP’s consultation looks to understand how the Government can better support businesses by increasing OH coverage nationwide through an agreement and partnership between the Government, employers and OH providers.

The DWP suggests introducing a new national ‘health at work’ standard to establish a benchmark for high-quality OH services, including recommendations and guidance, the opportunity to pursue accreditation and further government-funded support services and the sharing of employer best practices. The DWP also suggests developing the occupational health workforce capacity to meet increased demand by implementing new service models, building the diversity and skillset of the current workforce and partnering with the private sector to set in motion a long term sustainable multidisciplinary OH workforce.

Implications for Employers


A recent survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics found that 36% of all working-age people report at least one long-term health condition, indicating a drop of two million people reporting themselves as fully fit in only four years. Improving the quality of OH services and providing a baseline for OH provision should result in better support for the workforce, subsequently improving economic activity nationwide. Employers will also be glad to hear that the Government is considering offering additional tax incentives that would help them afford to use OH services more frequently or perhaps at all.

We have seen an increased use of OH in recent years. It is both a useful and often essential step in providing employers with required advice on fitness for work, potential disability and reasonable adjustments which employers can then use to inform their next steps.

The consultations will close on 12 October 2023. Further information and response forms can be found here ( and here ( For advice on using occupational health, please speak to a member of our employment team.


If you require any further information on the above developments please do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of the Employment Team.