People should be signed off for long-term sickness by an independent assessment service not GPs, a government-backed review says.
The review into dealing with long-term sickness at work also suggests tax breaks for firms which employ people who suffer from long-term conditions.
It is estimated the moves would mean 20% of the people currently on sickness absence would return to work.
Around 300,000 people a year are absent from work due to long-term sickness.
The review also calls for a new government backed job-brokering service, to find work for people cannot stay in their current job because of their condition.
A survey suggested 77% of GPs had admitted they signed people off sick for reasons other than their physical health, the report authors told the BBC.
The government asked Prof Carol Black and the former head of the CBI David Frost to consider radical changes to deal with the human and financial cost of sickness absence in the workplace.