Government commits to boosting occupational health services
The UK government has shared plans to boost occupational services and add to the workforce.
This move was announced as part of Jeremy Hunt’s spring budget, which highlighted the need for improved occupational health (OH) services.
It is hoped that with this move will come improved employee retention and better support for those returning to the workplace.
For example, there will be an increased focus on preventing illness-related absences by providing better support for those with health conditions.
Furthermore, it is estimated that only around half of UK employees have access to occupational health services, unlike France, Germany and Finland which have OH health coverage of around 90%.
Hence, there is a significant need for the UK to address this gap in OH services if we want to see happier workforces and a more affluent economy.
To keep up with this increased demand, ministers are looking at launching a consultation on how they could “boost occupational health coverage.”
The consultation will consider:
- Regulations required for employers to provide OH services
- The supply of OH professionals in the UK
- How the NHS long-term workforce plan could help strengthen the OH workforce nationally
In terms of flexible working, the government has voiced its support for Bills providing a ‘day-one right’ for employees to ask for flexible working arrangements. This also includes requests for more predictable hours and additional leave to be granted to unpaid carers.
The team at Amaré Health will keep you updated on the latest developments.
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