People off sick for more than four weeks could face a fitness-to-work test undertaken by a private company. The Welfare Minister Lord Freud said the scheme would help to cut the cost of sick pay and benefits
Reaction from Dr Louise Irvine:
"The very fact that the Welfare Minister is saying the scheme should help cut the cost of sick pay and benefits sets alarm bells ringing. Referring sick people to a private company that will assess their ability to work and draw up a plan for their return sounds suspiciously like a way of pushing sick people back into work with the threat of curtailing their sick pay. It sounds suspiciously like a repeat of the ATOS scandal."