Fit for Work Scotland – Helping Support Employees Back to Work

Fit for Work Scotland (FfWS) is a free advice and assessment service designed to help individuals return to work after a period of sickness absence. Over 130 million days are lost to sickness absence every year and it is well recognised that being out of work for long periods of time is damaging to health and financial well-being.

Delivered by NHSScotland, FfWS aims to help GPs and employers reduce sickness absence and maintain workplace health, while supporting employees to return to work in a way that is right for them.

How does it work?

Advice and Assessment

As well as providing free, impartial advice on all aspects of workplace health through a dedicated website and advice line, FfWS allows GPs and Employers to refer eligible individuals for a telephone assessment with a specially trained Health Professional. The assessment identifies obstacles preventing a return to work and generates a tailored Return to Work Plan designed to address each obstacle with agreed recommendations, facilitating an effective and sustained return to work.

The RTWP can be shared with the employer and GP with the employees consent and also provides evidence of fitness to work, replacing the need for further fit notes to be issued.

Who can be referred?

Eligibility criteria

To be referred for assessment by either a GP or employer, the employee must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • In work
  • Four or more weeks sickness absence
  • Valid fit note
  • Consent to referral

Referral to the service is voluntary and obtaining consent to refer an employee is essential.

Why use FFWS?


GPs Employers Employees
Easy access to expert advice for patients

Improved outcomes for patients – quicker return to work

RTWP reduce the need for further fit notes

Free service delivered by NHSScotland

Access to expert advice and information

Help to manage the impact of sickness absence

Possible tax exemption of up to £500 per person, per year for medical treatment

Help to return to work in a way that suits them

Tailored return to work plan specific to their needs

Improved health and personal wellbeing

For more information on how FfWS can help reduce sickness absence and support workplace health:

Advice line: 0800 019 2211
Twitter: @fitforworkscot