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The government published its response to this consultation on 22 November 2023.
Tackling economic inactivity due to long-term sickness is a top priority for the government. Increasing labour force participation supports the Prime Minister’s priorities of halving inflation and growing the economy. The Chancellor announced £2 billion at the Spring Budget 2023 to support disabled people and people with health conditions to work. This included a package of two consultations. This consultation, “Occupational Health: Working Better” is seeking views on proposals aimed at increasing employer use of Occupational Health (OH) Services. While the other, “Tax Incentives for Occupational Health”, is aimed at employers and exploring the role of tax incentives in boosting occupational health provision by employers.
Together these consultations will inform the government’s approach to supporting occupational health provision, and so both of these consultations should be read together.
Through the “Occupational Health: Working Better” consultation, to better support businesses, government intends to seek views on establishing an agreement and partnership between government, employers and OH providers to help drive an ambitious increase in OH coverage, specifically in relation to:
- the introduction of a national ‘health at work’ standard to help provide a baseline for quality OH provision including guidance, the option of pursuing accreditation and additional government-funded support services as well as employer best practice sharing (Chapter 1);
- best practice from other countries and other UK-based employer models that enable employers to provide support for their employees (set out in Chapter 2); and
- developing work and health workforce capacity through new service models, building the skills mix and diversity of the current workforce and partnering with the private sector to develop a long term sustainable multidisciplinary OH workforce (set out in Chapter 3).
We particularly welcome views from:
- Healthcare Professionals
- Non-Healthcare Professionals
- Occupational Health Providers
Find out how to respond to this consultation.