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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

New Social Security service unveiled

13 July 2023

The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Elaine Millar, is announcing a significant change to the way Jersey supports Islanders with the effects of illness during their working life.

Jersey’s laws around sickness benefit are being modernised so the Minister can give Jersey employees the option of doing some paid or voluntary work whilst still receiving STIA. At present, a person cannot do any work while they are receiving STIA.

A new Social Security service, called WorkWell, will agree and approve a plan of activity during a sickness benefit claim. This service is due to launch in Autumn 2023.

WorkWell will be a completely voluntary service which Islanders can choose to access through a referral from their GP. It will help Islanders who have been (or are at risk of being) off work for longer than four weeks.

WorkWell is designed to support Islanders to manage the effects of their health conditions during their working life. Specialist officers will help people consider the demands of their jobs and help design a ‘return-to-work plan’ that can be discussed and agreed with their employer.

As this is new for Jersey, WorkWell will also support employers by giving advice on how return to work plans can be accommodated in different kinds of workplaces. Supporting people with return-to-work plans can offer other benefits to many employers.

At first, the new service will be designed to support workers who are affected by mental health or musculoskeletal conditions. Once established, it will be expanded to include other health conditions where a return-to-work plan might be suitable.

Recruitment for the new WorkWell team is underway and a tailored training programme is being developed for staff working in the new service. The same training is also being delivered to key partners in Health and the voluntary sector. Targeted training will also be offered to Jersey’s GPs.

Deputy Millar said: “I am pleased to announce the new Social Security service, WorkWell. Each year, Jersey currently sees up to 1,000 claims for Short-Term Incapacity Allowance that last longer than three months. Of these, roughly 25% of people do not return to work at all.

“Although some of these absences will be for serious illnesses, many will be for conditions where early intervention and support would benefit the individual and help them make a successful return to work. My aim with this service is to give people the support to prevent them from feeling like they have no choice other than to leave work.” 

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