Collection

Health, work and wellbeing – evidence and research

Evidence, research and policy papers related to the health, work and wellbeing initiative

This page explains the background to the health, work and wellbeing initiative and lists the evidence, research, independent reports and policy papers that support it.

The health, work and wellbeing initiative began in 2005 with the publication of Health, work and wellbeing: caring for our future a strategy for the health and well-being of working age people.

Is work good for your health and well-being?

DWP commissioned a scientific evidence review of the links between health, work and wellbeing – Is work good for your health and well-being? An independent review – Gordon Waddell and A Kim Burton – 2006.

Working for a healthier tomorrow

In 2008, Dame Carol Black produced her report into the health of Britain’s working age population – Working for a healthier tomorrow. The government response – Improving health and work: changing lives – introduced a number of initiatives to test what would work, including the:

Because mental health problems have a greater impact on people’s ability to work than any other group of disorders, the review team commissioned a supplementary report on Mental health and work.

In 2008 we also published a scientific evidence review – Vocational rehabilitation: What works, for whom, and when? – Gordon Waddell, A Kim Burton, Nicholas AS Kendall.

Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence

In 2011, the government asked Dame Carol and David Frost to review the sickness absence system and make recommendations for improvement. The government accepted a number of the recommendations, including the introduction of an occupational health assessment and advice service to help people off sick for 4 weeks to get back to work.

Facts and figures

More than 2.5 million people claim health-related benefits (Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance – 2013/14 data), costing the government £12 billion a year. Employers pay an annual bill of around £9 billion for sick pay and associated costs. Information about the costs of sickness was included in Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence.

We know that people with long-term health conditions can and do work. Over a quarter of the 28 million people in work in this country have a long-term condition or impairment.

Evidence shows that 90% of people with common health conditions can be helped back to work following a few basic principles of good healthcare and workplace management. For many people, returning to work can be part of their recovery.

More information

There is more information about the health, work and wellbeing initiative in our policy about helping people to find and stay in work.

Research and analysis

  1. Fit for Work: exploring future GP referrals

    • Research and analysis
  2. Evaluation of the Statement of Fitness for Work (fit note): quantitative survey of fit notes (RR 841)

    • Research and analysis
  3. What works for whom in helping disabled people into work? (WP120)

    • Research and analysis
  4. An evaluation of the Statement of Fitness for Work (fit note): Survey of employees (RR 840)

    • Research and analysis
  5. General Practitioners’ attitudes towards patients’ health and work, 2010 to 2012 (RR 835)

    • Research and analysis
  6. Evaluation of employment advisers in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (RR826)

    • Research and analysis
  7. Quantifying the effectiveness of interventions for people with common health conditions in enabling them to stay in or return to work (RR812)

    • Research and analysis
  8. Health, Work and Well-being: A study of the Co-ordinator and Challenge Fund initiatives (RR811)

    • Research and analysis
  9. Mental health in context: the national study of work-search and wellbeing (RR810)

    • Research and analysis
  10. Statement of Fitness for Work (RR797)

    • Research and analysis
  11. Evaluation of the Fit for Work Service pilots: first year report (RR792)

    • Research and analysis
  12. Occupational Health Advice Lines evaluation: final report (RR793)

    • Research and analysis
  13. Health and well-being at work: a survey of employers (RR750)

    • Research and analysis
  14. General Practitioners’ attitudes towards patients’ health and work (RR733)

    • Research and analysis
  15. Attitudes to health and work amongst the working-age population (RR763)

    • Research and analysis
  16. Vocational rehabilitation: scientific evidence review

    • Research and analysis
  17. Work, health and wellbeing: building the case for wellness

    • Research and analysis
  18. Is work good for your health and well-being? An independent review

    • Research and analysis
  19. Concepts of rehabilitation: management of common health problems

    • Research and analysis

Independent reports

  1. Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence in Great Britain

    • Independent report
  2. Working for a healthier tomorrow: work and health in Britain

    • Independent report
  3. Mental health and work

    • Independent report