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Health and Work Service 'will help businesses'

9 February 2014 Last updated at 10:27 GMT

Work and Pensions Minister Mike Penning has told the BBC that a new scheme to get the long-term sick back to work will help small and medium businesses.

From April, staff absent for more than four weeks can be referred for assessments with the Health and Work Service.

The non-compulsory assessments will include medical advice and retraining.

Mr Penning insisted the scheme would not push sick people back into the workplace but allow occupational health specialists to offer support.

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