Health management 'should be flexible'Workplaces in the UK are being encouraged to make sure their approach to health and safety is flexible when looking to manage staff who may have underlying health conditions.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) urged such action after it revealed that some employees may be being excluded from the workplace when health issues arise, even if they are fit to continue their role.

Nattasha Freeman, president of IOSH, said that if the country became better at identifying people’s problems and obtaining the correct treatment as early as possible it could cut down on the need for Britons to take lengthy periods off work.

"This helps the employer too, as it reduces the costs associated with sickness absence and loss of production," she added.

Her comments come after Lynn Love, director of operations at the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said arthritis sufferers who are given NHS access to the drug abatacept may be able to work for longer, which could also have a positive impact on absence management in the workplace.

Absence Management 2010