Jelf Employee benefits had urged government to listen to what employers need before making employee benefits tax-relief decisions.
According to the firm, the vast majority of employers said employee benefits tax relief is key to controlling sickness absence but that rehabilitation services was not pivotal for relief as suggested in the government's response to the Sickness Absence Review.
The advice firm has provided research that showed any tax relief offered by government should reach across the board and not just stop at rehabilitation services.
But the firm added that identifying the right benefits for such reliefs was pivotal for tax relief to be successful.
The firm's research showed only 5% on employers believed rehabilitation services were the most important benefit in managing absences
Healthcare policies (31%) and occupational health (31%) were seen as the most useful benefits followed by employee assistance programmes (12%), income protection (11%) and medical cash plans (10%).
A decision on allowing tax reliefs on medical-related employee benefits is expected in the 2013 budget.
Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy for Jelf, said: "Rehabilitation will always have an important role to play in addressing sickness absence, however employers are clearly saying that they would like to see tax incentives across the board.
"If this is not possible at this time, it would be sensible to target any reliefs on the areas that employers feel will best help them control sickness absence."
He said the SAR offered practical suggestions that could benefit employers and the economy and the opportunity should not be lost, adding: "We urge the Government to listen to what employers say they actually need."
John Letizia, head of public affairs at Unum, said some movement was expected in the budget but could not see across the board tax relief.
He said: "I think it should be across the board but it is not looking good politically or economically for the government to be losing taxes. The government is in a pickle to say the least in terms of its public finances."
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