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PM Rishi Sunak Plans to Reform 'Sick Note Culture' and Limit Doctor's Power to Sign Off Long-Term Sick Leave

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain announced plans to reform long-term sick leave rules and limit family doctors' power to sign people off work as part of an effort to reduce the "sick note culture" and increase employment.
The proposal has drawn criticism from unions and health charities.

The percentage of employed working-age Britons has decreased since 2015 due in part to an increase in long-term sick leave and a rise in students.

In contrast, other major wealthy nations have seen employment numbers rise since 2020.

Sunak aims to help more people stay at work by changing the sick leave rules.

Rishi Sunak, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, spoke at the Centre for Social Justice in London about welfare reforms.

He emphasized that those experiencing anxiety or depression should seek support and treatment, but they should not be written off from work.

Sunak announced plans to tighten up the Work Capability Assessment process.

According to official data, there are currently 9.4 million Britons aged 16 to 64 who are neither working nor unemployed, which is 22% of that age group.

This number has risen from 8.55 million before the pandemic.

Of this group, 2.8 million are long-term sick, and 206,000 are temporarily ill.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom criticized the welfare system, stating that some people have made it a "lifestyle choice" leading to a large and "spiraling" welfare bill.

He advocated for a more proactive approach to help people return to work and expressed concern about over-reliance on medical solutions for everyday issues.

The PM also pointed out the economic unsustainability of the current system, as more funds are spent on supporting working-age individuals with illness or disability than on essential sectors like education, transportation, and enforcement.
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