27 March 2013 – Tax relief to help companies manage sickness absence
Businesses will benefit from tax relief on expenditure for health-related interventions recommended by a new health and work assessment and advisory service, it was announced in the Budget last week.
5 March 2013 – New GP guidance on the fit note is out
New guidance for GPs on the fit note has been published in a move that meets a commitment in the Government's response to the sickness absence review to improve the information and advice available to family doctors.
24 January 2013 – Evaluation of the Employment Adviser (EA) pilot in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
This evaluation explores the delivery of employment advice in conjunction with psychological therapy.
- Evaluation of Employment Advisers in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme – RR 826
17 Jan 2013 – Government response to the sickness absence review
The Government today published its response to the independent review of sickness absence by Dame Carol Black and David Frost CBE.
- Fitness for work: the Government response to ‘Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence’ (2.7MB)
18 Oct 2012 – Evaluation of the Health, Work and Well-being Challenge Fund and Co-ordinators
The evaluation report on the Challenge Fund and Co-ordinators has been published.
2 October 2012 – Mental health in context: the national study of work-search and wellbeing
New research published by the DWP provides further evidence on the importance of employment for good psychological health. The National Study of Work-search and Wellbeing is the first national study dedicated to examining the psychological health and wellbeing of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants.
3 April 2012 – Evaluation of the Statement of Fitness for Work: qualitative research with employers and employees
This report is part of a programme of evaluation to gather evidence on the use of the Statement of Fitness for Work (fit note).
- Evaluation of the Statement of Fitness for Work: Qualitative research with employers and employees – RR 797
1 March 2012 – Evaluation reports – Occupational Health Advice Lines and Fit for Work Service pilots
Evaluation reports on two Health, Work and Well-being policy initiatives have been published.
Occupational Health Advice Lines
We published the interim findings last year. The full evaluation report is now available.
Evaluation of the Fit for Work Service pilots: first year report
The Fit for Work Service pilots: first year report presents early findings on the operation of the pilots.
19 December – Health, Work and Well-being indicators report 2011
This is the second year report setting out the data on a series of health, work and well-being key indicators against which future progress on the health and well-being agenda will be monitored.
21 November 2011 – Sickness absence review
An independent review aimed at reducing the cost of sickness to employers, taxpayers and the economy was presented to the Government by health and business experts Dame Carol Black and David Frost on 21 November 2011.
27 October 2011 – New guide to the benefit system for GPs
DWP has produced a short guide on the benefit system specifically for GPs. The guide includes information on the main benefits patients may be eligible for, details of where GPs can access further guidance and where they can direct patients to for more information.
Healthy Working UK
GPs and other healthcare professionals looking for information, training and decision aids on the management of health and work can visit the Healthy Working UK website –
Resources include e-learning for primary and secondary care, a fit for work decision aid and a fit note guide as well as searchable catalogues of leaflets, guidance, learning resources, and information on local and national services available.
2 August 2011 – Health and well-being at work research published
Four research reports examining GP, employer and employee attitudes and behaviours towards health and well-being at work have been published.
The reports were commissioned to gain robust data and address gaps in the evidence base.
The findings provided much of the evidence for the Health, Work and Well-being: Baseline Indicators report published in December 2010 and are being used as a key part of the analysis for the Independent Review of Sickness Absence.
- Health and well-being at work: A survey of employees
- Health and well-being at work: A survey of employers
- Attitudes to health and work amongst the working-age population
- General Practitioners’ attitudes towards patients’ health and work
15 June 2011 – Chronic condition guides for employers and employees
As part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, the Department of Health Health@Work network has published practical guides on chronic conditions for both employers and employees.
The guides are designed to help organisations better help and support their employees who are suffering with long-term health conditions. The guides focus on the management of chronic conditions in the workplace. They have been endorsed by Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health and Work.
The guides are available on the NHS Choices website under Workplace health:
There is more about the Department of Health's Public Health Responsibility Deal here:
17 February 2011 – Additional £12million funding for health and work initiatives
The Government announced today an additional £12 million of funding for health and work programmes, including the Fit for Work Service and Occupational Health Advice lines. Both have already proved highly successful in providing support for both employers and individuals in the early stages of sickness absence.
7 December 2010 – Health, work and well-being: Baseline indicators report
This report sets out the baseline data on a set of health, work and well-being key indicators against which future progress will be monitored.
3 September 2010 – Our new online centre
This is our new online centre for health, work and well-being issues. It has links to information elsewhere for employers, employees, patients and healthcare professionals and is the base for our policy and research information.
The website www.workingforhealth.gov.uk has closed as part of the drive to converge government information onto a small number of customer-centred, cross-government websites – Business Link, Directgov and NHS Choices.
Through 2010, we’ve worked with partners to develop new web content for these sites.
Business Link recently published information on work and health for employers and businesses in our new guide – Improving Health and Well-being of Employees. We’ll shortly be adding two sample case studies to this guide.
Our Workplace Well-being Tool is also on Business Link. The Tool helps employers improve the health and well-being of people in their organisation.
- Workplace Well-being Tool (Business Link)
We have worked with Directgov to add new information about the relationship between work and health.
- Work and health (Directgov)
- If you are in work and become disabled (Directgov)
- Mental health and work (Directgov)
We are also working with NHS Choices to add new content on work and health to that site.
For more information about Health, Work and Well-being and our new online information, please email us.
6 April 2010 – ‘Fit note’ approach to employee wellbeing
To help support people who become ill to return to work as quickly as possible, DWP has reformed the Medical Statement (the ‘sick note’). The new Statement, known as the Statement of Fitness for Work, or the fit note, came into effect on 6 April 2010.
15 March 2010 – New award recognises role of employee health in improving business performance
Investors in People has launched a new award to recognise employers who have strengthened their organisation by investing in the health and well-being of employees.
This is the result of extensive research which shows that effective and proactive management of health and well-being can improve business performance by increasing productivity, reducing sickness and absenteeism and enhancing employee retention.
Backed by the Department of Health, Investors in People worked with over 400 organisations to develop and pilot a Good Practice Award framework. This comprehensive, practical guidance is delivered by trained advisors and assessors.
Feedback shows that employers experience real improvements to health and well-being within their organisation as a result of working with the Good Practice Award framework. Employers that successfully meet its requirements are rewarded by being recognised with the new Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Good Practice Award.
The first seven organisations to achieve this accolade were presented with their certificates by Dame Carol Black – the government's National Director for Health and Work – at a special awards ceremony in London today. These include Claridge’s, Kimberly-Clark and NHS Suffolk.
Jane Jones, acting Chief Executive of Investors and People UK, said:
“Over the past five years we have worked with some of the UK’s leading employers to analyse the role of health and well-being in the workplace. This isn’t just about fruit and gym membership, and nor is it about perks or ‘nice to haves’. It’s about embedding health and well-being into the culture of the business to ensure everyone benefits. The organisations we have worked with recognise these benefits and we believe this new award will help others reap the same rewards.”
Dame Carol Black DBE said:
“Improving the health of the UK’s workforce will have a critical impact not only on individuals, but on businesses and the UK economy as a whole. There are simple steps that all organisations can take to ensure the well-being of employees. Focusing on specific health issues is obviously important; however employers should not underestimate the role that better management and engagement of employees can have on the well-being – and ultimately productivity – of their workforce.”
11 March 2010 – Minister launches new free occupational health service for small businesses
A free Health for Work Adviceline for small businesses has been launched in Portsmouth, one of seven pilot locations in England for the new NHS Plus service. The adviceline was unveiled at a launch attended by the Minister for the South East, Jonathan Shaw, at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.
A recent Government report identified a need to provide employers, particularly those in small firms, with easy access to advice on workplace health issues.
The new adviceline builds on existing NHS Plus services to provide employers with free and confidential advice from health professionals that is tailored to their needs. It will also direct them to other advice and services they may require.
Currently, working-age ill health and sickness absence cost the UK economy more than £100 billion each year, of which £30-40 billion is estimated to be due to mental ill health problems such as anxiety or depression.
Jonathan Shaw said:
"For the vast majority of us, being in work is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This new adviceline will support smaller businesses in the South Hampshire and East Sussex areas that may not have the occupational health resources of a larger company. Now employers will be given advice on how to support employees with health issues, so that they can either stay in work or return to work sooner after a period of sickness absence."
Employers can call the adviceline on 0800 0 77 88 44 for help with individual employee health issues or find out more at www.health4work.nhs.uk. The adviceline will run until 31 March 2011.
23 February 2010 – New free Government ‘Health for Work Adviceline’ for Thames Valley small businesses
Small businesses in South Buckinghamshire, South Oxfordshire and West Berkshire now have free access to professional occupational health advice to help with individual employee health issues following the launch of a new free adviceline.
The adviceline was launched in the area at a ‘Business Insight’ event held by the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group. This was attended by Michael Portillo, journalist, broadcaster and former Conservative MP, who described the adviceline as an important initiative for small businesses.
The adviceline is being piloted in seven locations across England, and also across Scotland and Wales. In England, it is delivered by NHS Plus and will run until 31 March 2011. Businesses can call the adviceline on 0800 0 77 88 44 or visit www.health4work.nhs.uk for free and confidential advice.
Kerri Parkins, employment coordinator for Buckinghamshire-based ‘Healthy Minds’, one of the referral services offered by the adviceline, said:
“The adviceline is a valuable resource for small business employers who might not be able to afford external health services. For an employee with anxiety or depression, the longer they are off work, the more difficult it is for them to return – so it is useful for an employer to be able to act as early as possible.”
More than £100 billion is lost from the UK’s economy each year because of working-age ill health and sickness absence. Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression among staff are estimated to cost employers nearly £26 billion each year. That is equivalent to £1,035 for every employee in the UK workforce.
Twenty-three per cent of non-manual workers suffer from psychiatric problems caused by high levels of occupational stress resulting from demanding work requirements, problems balancing home and work life, bullying and lack of support. For people with mental health conditions, reduced productivity accounts for 1.5 times the working time lost as sickness absence.
Kevin Bottwood, Managing Partner of anti-money laundering and compliance specialists, CAML Global, attended the launch.
“Our clients often operate businesses with very high-stress environments, such as foreign exchange houses and trading floors. I can now tell them that they can get free and confidential help, which will hopefully prevent problems escalating. This is a really worthwhile initiative – having someone to turn to for advice can make all the difference to a small business.”
The initiative has been launched in response to a recent Government report which identified a need to provide employers, particularly those in small firms with up to 250 people, with easy access to advice on workplace health issues.
16 February 2010 – Tender for the National Centre
The Cross-Government Health Work and Well-Being Strategy Unit* wishes to commission the services of an existing organisation (or a collaboration of organisations) to establish a National Centre for Working Age Health and Well-being.
The key aim of the National Centre is to strengthen the evidence base on working age health and well-being and to communicate this in an accessible way to aid Government in evidence based policy making and stakeholders in implementing that policy.
Once established, it will report to a high level Government led Board which will determine the Centre’s strategic direction and focus. The National Centre has an agreed set of core objectives which are detailed in full in the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) Instructions. The supplier’s performance and effectiveness in delivering these key objectives will be gauged via a bi-annual independent evaluation process.
Bidders will be expected to demonstrate how they would set up and staff the Centre to create the country’s leading and most trusted and authoritative health, work and well-being observatory with an established web presence and (secondary) research output by the end of the first year. This should include the development of a comprehensive best practice database; the marketing and communication of high quality collated research; the dissemination of data and specific papers to key user groups and the enunciation of clear, evidence-based guidelines to support the implementation and evaluation of policy and interventions.
Given the limited time which the Centre has to make an impact the bidder must show it has an existing organisational infrastructure in place, which is capable of delivering the outputs required.
Organisations and individuals are invited to register their interest by completing a first stage PQQ for return by noon Monday 22nd March 2010.
29 January 2010 – New employer health and well-being survey
The Health, Work and Well-being Delivery Unit has commissioned GfK NOP, an independent market research and consumer insight agency, to carry out a telephone survey of 2,500 employers across Great Britain.
The researchers will interview a sample of small, medium and large employers across various sectors in order to gain a representative view of their attitudes towards employee health and well-being. The survey will also collect information about the extent to which sickness absence poses a challenge to businesses and what can and should be done to reduce sickness absence.
That information will then be used to inform future health and work policy and will assist in the monitoring of changes to the promotion of heath and well-being at work over time.
GfK NOP will be carrying out the survey between February and May 2010. Employers have been selected at random from the Inter-Departmental Business Register held at the Office for National Statistics. The survey is completely confidential and it will not be possible for any individual person or business to be identified from the survey findings. The information collected will be used for statistical purposes only.
The research findings will be published when survey data has been tabulated.