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‘Sicknote Britain’ – a new medial test announced

The Work and Pensions Secretary, Peter Hain has announced plans to introduce a new test to check whether a person who claims to be too sick to work is in fact incapable.

There are estimated to be 2.64 million working age people claiming incapacity benefit costing £12.5 billion in 2006/7.

Perhaps surprisingly the Times online on November 19, 2007 reported that almost 2,000 people are considered to be too fat to work and have received some £4.4 million in benefit.

The trend in obesity is very worrying.

The philosophy behind the introduction of the new Work Capability Assessment is that a significant number of people are not working in the belief that they are unemployable whereas they may be able to take up successful careers, if the right support is in place.

The Chartered Institute of Personal and Development however warned that more action was required to get GP’s and employers to work more closely together to stop people slipping into long-term sickness.

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