Employee ‘return to work’ health interventions

Expenditure by employers on medical treatment for employees is generally taxable on the employee as money earnings or a benefit in kind. National insurance contributions also apply and a benefit is reportable on the P11D.

Due for implementation in autumn 2014

An exemption of up to £500 per employee per year is to be introduced for ‘recommended medical treatment’ but salary sacrifice and flexible remuneration arrangements are to be specifically prohibited.

‘Recommended medical treatment’

This is treatment to enable an employee to return to work  recommended by either:

  • the new Health and Work Service; or
  • an equivalent occupational health service provided or arranged by the employer.

Much of the detail of the precise conditions for the exemption, e.g. length of time sick before the treatment may be provided will has not yet been produced.

Treatment may be provided by service providers contracted directly by the employer or by non-cash vouchers.

This is a relief whose impact and benefit will not be fully assessable until all the details are known but it may have an impact on employers’ decisions about private medical care.