By Katharine Moxham 7 September 2021.
The role of the workplace in maintaining good health
The long-awaited government response to the Health is everyone’s business consultation was published as parliament rose for summer recess in July. The consultation set out a number of proposals to minimise the risk of ill-health-related job loss, particularly for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, and the response outlines the measures government is taking forward to support both this and its ambition to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027.
The government recognises the challenge can’t be solved quickly or easily, but is making it clear that employers are key to tackling this issue and that it wants more employers to access expert support to help employees who are struggling to stay in or return to work.
The government has pledged to work towards increasing awareness of the benefits of protection insurance among employers and the self-employed. The response recognises that employers (particularly SMEs) can find it difficult to know where to start or how to access information and expert support. So a national information-and-advice service for employers on health, work and disability will be developed to provide guidance resources and signposting to sources of help and advice such as occupational health and group income protection.
The consensus statement project put forward by the group risk industry body, GRiD, will form part of this work. This aims to enhance employer guidance in partnership with business organisations and employer networks to improve employers’ awareness of the link between good work and good health, and to promote the use of expert-led support services to prevent and effectively manage sickness absence.
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