IOSH welcomes UK Government's workplace health pledges
The UK Governments pledge to invest extra funds into workplace health issues has been welcomed by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
In the Spending Review and Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne pledged more funding to help people with disabilities and health conditions get work and remain in work.
This will include extra spending on Access to Work, which will provide specialist IT equipment or support workers to help 25,000 more disabled people remain in work each year, and expanding the Fit for Work service to support more people on long-term sickness absence with return to work plans.
Meanwhile £115 million will be given to the Joint Work and Health Unit. At least £40 million of this will be invested in a health and work innovation fund to pilot new ways to join up health and employment systems.
Richard Jones, IOSH’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said the announcements were good news for the country’s workforce and will benefit the economy.
He said: “Effective management of health issues at work can both protect and improve people’s health and help foster a diverse and inclusive workforce.
“Better access to timely support, advice and treatments is good for individuals, for employers and for the economy.”
The move has come about as the UK Government wants to see better links between health services and employment support. It will publish a White Paper in the New Year to set out the reforms to improve support for people with health conditions and disabilities and reduce the ‘disability employment gap’.
The Spending Review and Autumn Statement, announced by Mr Osborne in Parliament last week, also revealed that an extra £600 million will be invested in mental health services.
This will mean more people having access to the therapies they need. The UK Government will work closely with NHS England’s Mental Health Taskforce to roll this out.