The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has welcomed reports claiming the government is considering tax breaks for firms that provide occupational health benefits to their staff.
The measure has been a key demand of advisers in the health and protection markets to prime ministers last year to help encourage firms to support their staff and ease the burden on the NHS.
In May, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) told delegates at the Health & Protection IPMI Summit that conversations with government on providing tax incentives for UK firms offering health benefits were proving “slow” but were happening.
The report may indicate government is following up its Health is everyone’s business consultation process, led by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), which in July 2021 praised insurers for the support they offer and role they play in supporting workers’ health.
According to The Times, an early conclusion of a review into why 630,000 people have left the UK workforce since 2019 has found employers that provide employees with extensive occupational health support have better retention rates as they lose fewer staff to ill health or related problems.
The review has been led by work and pensions secretary Mel Stride and was commissioned days after he took office.
The paper claims companies that provide such benefits could in future be handed tax breaks under plans being considered by ministers.
The IHPN welcomed the report, tweeting “Good to see the Government are looking at ways to incentivise employers to provide more occupational health services to support their staff.”
In response to the reports, a DWP spokesperson told Health & Protection the department did not comment on speculation around tax changes.