workers are to be referred for statutory health assessments if they are absent for more than four weeks.

The Department of Work and Pensions also plans to abolish compensation for firms paying long-term sick pay

Up to 95,000 workers in Scotland were on sick leave for over a month each year between October 2010 and September 2013, according to DWP figures.

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The numbers have been released for the launch of Health and Work Service, a statutory referral scheme involving a work-focused occupational health assessment and case management for employees in the early stage of sickness absence.

It is expected to save employers £70 million a year and will be funded through the abolition of the statutory sick pay percentage threshold scheme (PTS), the DWP said.

PTS, which provides some compensation for employers faced with high levels of sickness absence, is "an outdated system which does nothing to promote or support active management of sickness absences by either the employer or employee", according to the DWP.