Press release

Publication of DWP research report 763: attitudes to health and work amongst the working age population.

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Survey designed to collect evidence on attitudes amongst the working-age population on the relationship between work and health.

Research is published today by the Department for Work and Pensions which presents the findings from a quantitative survey that was designed to collect robust evidence on attitudes held amongst the working-age population towards the relationship between work and health.

The key findings of the report were as follows:

  • Just over 80% of respondents both in and not in employment believed work is good for both physical and mental health. 
  • The vast majority (91 per cent) of respondents said that they would go to work with a short term condition but significantly fewer (around 60 per cent) said they would go into work if they suffered from long-term physical and mental health conditions.  Respondents who were in employment were likely to say they would go to work under all the hypothetical scenarios posed in comparison with those not in employment.
  • 79% of respondents reported they went into work in the last 12 months despite feeling quite unwell. The top three reasons why were non-financial: “I was too busy at work”, “I wasn’t ill enough” and “I thought I would feel better if I went into work”.
  • Overall there was strong support for GPs (91%) and moderate support for employers (53%) to have a say in the length of time individuals should be signed off due to ill health. 
  • Respondents also felt employers should have a role when employees were ill, with the majority of the working-age population agreeing (>80%) that employers should take steps to help employees with long-term conditions to carry on working.

Notes to Editors: