Government papers: Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss


‘Health is everyone’s business’ put forward a number of proposals to minimise the risk of ill-health related job loss through better workplace support for disabled people and those with long-term health conditions. It explored changes to Statutory Sick Pay, Occupational Health, information and advice, and employer guidance.

The measures the government is taking forward provide greater clarity around employer/employee rights and responsibilities; recognise the important role of OH; and reinforce the need for employers to have access to clear and compelling information and advice that is easy to understand, authoritative and accessible.

As set out in ‘Improving Lives’, the government wants to see individuals, where appropriate, benefit from a preventative approach to ill-health and an environment which supports health promotion. It wants to see employers creating healthier workplaces and offering the right support to their staff. It also wants both employers and their staff to be supported by a health system which promotes good health and helps them to better manage their conditions.

Much of the focus of this consultation response document is on the role employers themselves play, but it also recognises that when individual employees are struggling with health issues and engaging with the health system, there are opportunities to provide them with advice to help them manage the employment impact of their condition. To that end, it has:

  • integrated Employment Advice provision in the NHS’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services in England
  • invested in Individual Placement and Support (IPS) with local partners, to test new ways of supporting people to enter, re-enter and stay in work.

It has also worked with NHS England/Improvement and Public Health England to explore barriers and enablers to partnership working on work and health in local systems. It is currently undertaking further exploratory work on the development of partnerships, strategies and greater integration of services at a local level.