Over 75% of employers and 60% of GPs are not aware of the new Fit for Work service, research for Cigna UK HealthCare Benefits (Cigna UKHB) by YouGov has found.
Even less are aware there is tax relief of up to £5000 per employee for medical treatment, the findings come as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) rolls out the Fit for Work service.
Phil Austin, managing director of Cigna UKHB, said: "The DWP initiatives to help employers with the rising costs of sickness absence are definitely a positive step.
"However, the Cigna research points to a need for more widespread communication on the Fit for Work scheme.
"At the same time, employers and GPs need better understanding of each other's roles in managing sickness absence."
"The DWP is aiming for the Fit for Work service to be fully operational across the UK by late 2015. It relies on GPs referring individuals to the service if they are going to be off work for four weeks or more.
"However, the Cigna research shows not only are the majority of GPs unaware of the service, those that are aware don't always think it is their role to make the referrals.
"Meanwhile, employer awareness of the scheme is lowest amongst small businesses.
"This is particularly concerning as they have been identified as having the greatest need for the support available through the Fit for Work scheme."