March 6th, 2023.

The Government is to trial covering 80 per cent of the cost of providing healthcare to employees in small and medium-sized firms.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt should announce trialling the healthcare subsidy in the Budget on March 15, as part of the Government’s push to get nearly 7m economically-inactive people back into work.

These occupational health subsidies will help pay for SMEs to offering preventative health screening for staff, such as measuring weight and height, blood pressure and body mass index.

Appraisals would be given annually as a kind of “health MoT”, one Government source told the Sunday Times.

Many large companies have inhouse occupational health services such as their own doctors or buy in services from private providers to monitor the health of their workforce. This is seen as prohibitively expensive for small businesses, with owner-directors of SMEs five times less likely to invest in occupational health, according to...

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