Axa’s request comes after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published a piece of guidance on how employers should manage long term sickness in the workplace.
The NICE guidance suggested a two to six week waiting period before initially assessing employees’ fitness for work.
However, Axa says six weeks is too long and instead an initial assessment should take place after one week to determine whether employees should be left to recover on their own or referred for more detailed assessment and/or intervention.
Axa is also questioning whether the NHS currently has the capability to deliver the services employers need to restore many ill or injured employees back to health in a sufficiently timely fashion.
Axa head of corporate healthcare development Dudley Lusted says: “Independent sector providers are well placed to provide early access to investigations and treatment, and to the dedicated case management service necessary for success in more difficult cases.
“It’s astonishing that so many employers continue to pay people not to work whilst they wait for NHS treatment when the tools to treat them cost effectively are so readily available.