and Pensions In-House report series provides evidence on the factors
that place employed/self-employed people who have been off work
because of illness, injury or disability for between 6 and 26 weeks
inform the development of a screening tool for the Job Retention and
Rehabilitation Pilot which was launched on 1 April 2003.
Key findings from the literature review
The review finds that there are currently no published screening
tools that are suitable to use for identifying those at risk of
losing their job amongst employed or self-employed people who have
been off work because of sickness, illness or a disability for
between 6 and 26 weeks. It also shows that many different factors
interact to influence the duration of sickness absence and that it is
not solely dependent on health condition but also on age, sickness
benefits, and access time to medical specialists and hospitals.
There is conflicting evidence on the influence of personal
characteristics such as age, race, gender, and socio-economic status
on return to work. Much of the research on musculo-skeletal
conditions provides evidence that early intervention is effective in
helping those off sick return to work. In addition, people who are
able to cope better with their pain experience less stress,
depression, and anxiety and stand a better chance of returning to
The evidence also shows that long-term sickness absence is more
likely to lead to job loss. Those without qualifications and those
with low levels of qualifications are also more at risk of job loss
than those who are more highly qualified, and that those in manual
jobs are more at risk of job loss than those in non-manual positions.
The review finds that self-employment is a protective factor against
The Liter ature Review of Risk Factors for Job Loss Following Sickness
Absence is published today in the Department for Work & Pension's
In-House Research Series: Report Number 122; ISBN 1843882140.
The authors of the report are Lindsay Blank, David Craig, Alison
Jackson, Ewan MacDonald, Jean Peters, Simon Pickvance & Jane Wilford
from the University of Glasgow and the University of Sheffield.
The report is available free on request from Ola Makanjuola (0207
9628556), DWP Social Research Division, Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam
Street, London WC2N 6HT, or from our website