Our response to Rishi Sunak's plan to reduce people being signed off sick from work

19 April 2024

Today the Prime Minister announced plans to address the rising numbers of people out of work, focused on reforming how people are assessed on their fitness to work. 

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“Our social security system, like the NHS, exists to support us and our loved ones when we’re in need. We agree that people who have experienced mental illness need more support to enter the world of work when they’re well enough to do so, and we welcome the government’s attention on this issue. But we need to hear solid details from the government on how this support will be funded, delivered and co-produced with the people it aims to help, and there is also the question of how we can put the nation's wellbeing back on a stable footing while mental health services are so under-resourced. At the same time, we must be careful that we do not inadvertently stigmatise those who are too unwell to work. Just as pressing as the need to help people into work is the need to build a social security system which safely supports people, given the ongoing harm caused by the DWP's punitive approach."