Commenting on the speech by the Prime Minister on mental health, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“This is a welcome move and employers will rise to the challenge. It is not only morally right that we tackle the stigma surrounding mental health problems but it also makes good business sense.
“Keeping people fit and healthy, whilst enabling a speedy return to work from absence is essential to economic growth and improvements in productivity. However, currently we have long term absence on the increase and an under pressure NHS which is struggling to deal with the issue.
“Government must now use fiscal incentives to encourage employers to pay for health, well-being and medical interventions and allow it to be offset in the same way as other business expenses. Not only would this help take the pressure off the NHS but it would allow a speedier return to work. This would be a win win for Government, employees and employers.”
EEF publishes the UK’s biggest annual business survey on Sickness Absence. The 2016 survey showed that 60% of companies would pay for private medical treatment if it could be offset like other allowable business expenses.