Airmic, the CBI and the TUC are set to launch a joint initiative on workplace rehabilitation in the new year.

Airmic director general David Gamble said: "We are now putting together the final touches. Everything has been going very positively with the TUC and CBI, so we now have the big battalions on-side."

TUC health and safety officer Tom Mellish said: "We will have to see how we can promote the government's policy in this area. For example, how is a rehabilitation service going to be provided to the small and medium-sized employer that hasn't the resources to buy into it? It has to be about consultation and it has to involve everyone in the workplace.

"There are serious issues of how we develop these programmes and ensure the workforce gets involved."

A spokesman for Airmic declined to reveal further details about the initiative. He said: "It has not yet been officially approved. We have been in discussions with the insurance industry, the TUC and the CBI and are looking to flesh out the programme."

The increased use of rehabilitation is seen as a means to improve the effectiveness of personal injury compensation and reduce costs by impacting on claims size and frequency. According to the ABI, the effective implementation of rehabilitation could save the UK between £1.6bn and £5.8bn per year.