HMRC sets out detail of £500 workplace health tax break

HM Revenue and Customs has today issued a consultation on the details of how the £500 tax exemptions for return-to-work healthcare interventions proposed by the Frost/Black report will work.

The long-awaited draft rules contained in the consultation propose that care benefiting from the tax exemption must be approved by a health care professional who is is a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse, or an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.

The £500 P11d employee exemption was first proposed in the paper Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence, written by Dame Carol Black and David Frost CBE, which was published in November 2011. The main recommendation of the report was the creation of the Health and Work Service, which will start in pilot form next month.

Employees will be eligible for the break once they have been off work for 28 days. The consultation proposes the tax exemption should also apply for care that commences shortly after an employee returns to work expected to be within 14 days of an employees’ return, or commences while an employee is absent from work due to ill-health or injury, but, once treatment has started, they are able to return to work while the treatment continues.

Employers wishes to benefit from the tax exemption will be expected to retain relevant records such as attendance records, fit notes, including those that indicate an employee ‘may be fit’, and return to work plans.

The consultation closes on October 15.