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Stephen  Bevan

Stephen Bevan

Stephen was Director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation and an Honorary Professor at Lancaster University until March 2016. Stephen conducted research on high-performance work practices, employee reward strategy, staff engagement and retention and Good Work. His interests included workforce health and wellbeing, leading a number of national and international projects focusing on workforce health and the impact of chronic illness on productivity and social inclusion.

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Related Reports

Fit for Work UK: 'My plan for life' guide
The aim of 'My plan for life' is to help people with chronic conditions to think about what matters most to them and what they want from your care – including returning to work.

Created by the Fit for Work Coalition with a dedicated grant from AbbVie
20 October 2015

Living long, working well
As the number of working age adults has begun to decline and as pension provision remains inadequate for many, people need to carry on working longer. The fourth paper from the Health at Work Policy Unit looks at ways in which policymakers and employers can support older workers with health conditions to remain active at work.

Tyna Taskila, Victoria Shreeve, Mariarossella Laghini, Stephen Bevan
22 July 2015

Musculoskeletal Disorders, Workforce Health and Productivity in the United States
This white paper summarizes what is known about musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the United States and their relationship to employment. We reviewed the major existing clinical, epidemiological and labour market evidence on the prevalence and impact of MSDs in the U.S. working-age population.

Kate Summers, Kimberly Jinnett and Stephen Bevan
30 June 2015

Healthy, Working Economies
The Health at Work Policy Unit’s third policy paper argues that despite pockets of good practice where areas are prioritising the health and wellbeing of the working age population, central government is failing to give local organisations clear roles and responsibilities around improving workforce health and wellbeing, in order to drive joined-up local action.

Victoria Shreeve, Karen Steadman and Stephen Bevan
21 April 2015

The Productivity Imperative: Towards a 21st century model of postal service delivery
This paper describes the productivity challenge, particularly for the postal and logistics sector. It establishes the productivity environment in global terms and reflects on the different performances in different national markets. Through case studies and examples, employee-centric opportunities are brought to life as further opportunities to keep the productivity journey moving forward. The report also summarises a practical toolkit that would allow any organisation to measure progress in this journey against best practice.

Stephen Bevan, Adrian King and Elmar Toime
16 March 2015

Fluctuating Conditions, Fluctuating Support: Improving organisational resilience to fluctuating conditions in the workforce
This second white paper from the Health at Work Policy Unit looks at the challenges faced by employers in managing a workforce with fluctuating conditions and makes a series of recommendations.

Karen Steadman, Victoria Shreeve and Stephen Bevan
22 January 2015

Performance Management HR Thoroughbred or Beast of Burden?
The purpose of this paper is to examine how we can ensure that PM delivers sustainable results for all the stakeholders who participate in this annual ritual dance. It will look at the circumstances where PM has been shown to be successful, and why it so often underperforms. And it will look at the role of HR professionals in the design, administration and evaluation of PM and ask what lessons we can draw about the contemporary role of HR in the post-recession organisation.

Professor Stephen Bevan
08 December 2014

The Way Forward: Policy options for improving workforce health in the UK
The Health at Work Policy Unit’s first paper recommends that the government must comprehensively reform its strategy if it is to tackle the barriers that remain for many businesses in implementing health and wellbeing programmes.

Zofia Bajorek, Victoria Shreeve, Stephen Bevan, Tyna Taskila
21 October 2014

An Overview of the Health at Work Policy Unit
The Health at Work Policy Unit (HWPU) provides evidence-based policy recommendations and commentary on contemporary issues around health, wellbeing and work. The unit aims to provide an independent, authoritative, evidence-based voice capable of articulating the views of all stakeholders.

Victoria Shreeve, Stephen Bevan
21 October 2014

Sick of Being Unemployed? The health issues of out of work men and how support services are failing to address them
Men, particularly those previously employed in temporary or unstable jobs with a lower socio economic status, have a higher risk of developing poor health as result of being unemployed than other groups. Poor health can be a barrier to an effective return to work, and the government needs to use innovative pathways to reach and help address poor health in men.

Jenny Gulliford, Damian Shannon, Tyna Taskila,David Wilkins, Martin Tod and Stephen Bevan
11 June 2014

Constrained Work? Job enrichment & employee engagement in low wage, low skill jobs
Small investments by organisations in employee engagement for low wage, low skilled workers could see a further £49 billion contributed to the UK economy and help reduce sickness absence.

Emily Anderton and Stephen Bevan
05 February 2014

Compensation Culture: Is executive pay excessive? Does it matter?
This paper explores the current debate about what some would see as ‘excessive’ executive pay in the UK. It looks at the evidence behind claims of damage caused to both civil society and in organisations, due to wide and widening pay dispersion.

Professor Stephen Bevan
18 November 2013

Reducing Temporary Work Absence Through Early Intervention: The case of MSDs in the EU
To coincide with the 5th Annual Summit of the Fit for Work Europe Coalition in Brussels in October 2013, we have put together some examples of early interventions from across the EU which have proven to be both clinically successful and economically sound. We also present some new data based on some scenarios which focus on the potential impact on sickness absence and productivity which would result if some of the good practice we showcase here were emulated across all EU member states.

Professor Stephen Bevan
17 October 2013

Budget 2013: An assessment from The Work Foundation
A reaction from our experts on different aspects of the 2013 Budget.

Ian Brinkley, Paul Sissons, Hiba Sameen, Neil Lee, Charles Levy, Prateek Sureka and Stephen Bevan
22 March 2013

Working with Schizophrenia: Pathways to employment, recovery and inclusion
Only 8% of people with schizophrenia are currently in employment. The report examines the impact of schizophrenia on an individual's ability to enter or remain in the labour market, outlining how such barriers can be addressed by policymakers, employers, healthcare professionals as well as those with the condition and their carers.

Professor Stephen Bevan, Dr Tyna Taskila, Karen Steadman, Jenny Gulliford, Rosemary Thomas and Andreea Moise
11 February 2013

Ready to Work? Meeting the employment and career aspirations of people with Multiple Sclerosis
Work lives of up to 100 000 people in the UK are cut 18 years short by multiple sclerosis. The report calls for a coordinated action to reduce the unnecessary burden of the condition on individuals’ lives and the UK economy.

Stephen Bevan, Ksenia Zheltoukova, Robin McGee, Laura Blazey
22 June 2011

The definitive analysis of current internal communication practice
IC:UK builds on previous research by The Work Foundation into the hidden or intangible factors of productivity and performance. In 2005 our report, Cracking the Performance Code: How Organisations Succeed, outlined the several factors that high performing companies require in order to be successful.

Michelle Mahdon and Professor Stephen Bevan
29 July 2007

Related Blogs

‘Health’ is just an incomplete diagnosis…
It’s one of those strange paradoxes that one of the most talked about topics in the European Commission these days is also one where it has the least influence over what happens in individual Member States. In the last two weeks I’ve spoken at three separate events on the big challenge of chronic ill-health in Europe’s (ageing) working population where this paradox was evident...

Stephen Bevan
11 December 2015

Wellbeing in Schools - launch of an innovative new pilot programme
Schools play a very big part in shaping the current and future wellbeing of a large population of people, each is a community with significant ‘reach’ and influence... Steve Bevan talks about a new initiative launched this week by Nuffield Health with the support of The Work Foundation.

Stephen Bevan
10 September 2015

Substance Abuse & Obesity – Carrot or Stick?
Stephen Bevan discusses the announcement of a government Review to examine how to support people with substance abuse or obesity challenges back to work...

Stephen Bevan
29 July 2015

Can mental health be an asset in Europe’s drive for productivity growth?
It has long been acknowledged that mental illness can have a devastating effect on individuals, families and communities across Europe. In recent years its impact on wider society, on productivity and economic growth have also been more widely recognised. Indeed, the challenges of deteriorating mental health in European countries where the financial crisis and high unemployment have hit hardest are still presenting challenges to policy-makers and healthcare professionals.

Stephen Bevan
21 January 2015

Performance Management – HR Thoroughbred or Beast of Burden?
Today at the Work Foundation we co-hosted (with Prospect) an important event looking at the contemporary role of HR. We had a great line-up of speakers, including Lord Monks, Peter Cheese (CIPD), Duncan Gallie (Oxford University), Kay Eldergill HR Director Met Office, Paul Hucknall HR Director Lloyds Banking Group, Richard Heron Vice-President Health & Chief Medical Officer BP and Prof Rosalind Searle, Coventry University. The event posed a number of questions about whether HR should be the custodian of organisational conscience, what ‘good work’ looks like (and how we can generate more), the current state of ‘trust’ in modern organisations and whether performance management processes are ‘fit for purpose’.

Stephen Bevan
08 December 2014

Shared Parental Leave. Not for Losers.
We monitor the take-up of paternity leave to help us weed-out the losers’. This was the proud claim of the HR Director of an investment bank we interviewed for a study back in 2002. He was very happy to showcase the bank’s ‘enlightened’ HR policies in public, but privately admitted that any father who took their full paternity leave entitlement could look forward to career stagnation as a result.

Stephen Bevan
01 December 2014

Government action on health at work long overdue
In spite of good news about the UK jobs market, we are still facing a struggle to raise levels of productivity to anything like their pre-crisis levels.Clearly , we need to do more to maximise the skills, engagement and wellbeing of the workforce. The field of wellbeing is where the need is most acute and the potential gains from action are highest as we can forecast what will happen through inaction. This is why we have recently launched The Work Foundation’s Health at Work Policy Unit.

Stephen Bevan
12 November 2014

Mind the Gap 2
More than forty years after the Equal Pay Act the gender pay gap for senior women over 40 is now 35%.

Stephen Bevan
19 August 2014

Mind the Gap
“For the first time in history officers of a company can become seriously rich without risking any of their own money. Their rewards are so beyond those of ordinary people that they risk being seen as aliens from another galaxy.”

Stephen Bevan
18 August 2014

Prevention is better than cure – except in healthcare?
Stephen Bevan discusses the role of work in healthcare and health issues relating to the launch of 'Recipes for Sustainable Healthcare' report is being launched in Parliament today (Tuesday 16 June).

Stephen Bevan
17 June 2014

Mental Health & Work in the UK – a sobering view from the outside
Professor Stephen Bevan blogs about the launch of the OECD’s new report looking at the way the UK supports people in the labour market who are living with mental illness.

Stephen Bevan
10 February 2014

Constrained Work: Are some jobs just too boring to be enriched?
Stephen Bevan argues that until we find ways of building the capacity of UK managers to enrich even the most ‘constrained’ jobs – and to see the great results this can bring - we risk parts of the UK labour market remaining in a low wage, low skill, low aspiration and low morale equilibrium.

Stephen Bevan
05 February 2014

A cautious welcome for Mr Clegg’s mental health challenge
Stephen Bevan comments on the launch this week of the government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ report in which it set out 25 challenges to improve services and outcomes for people with mental illness.

Stephen Bevan
22 January 2014

Performance-related pay and the rhetoric gap
Professor Stephen Bevan writes about performance-related pay and the implications as a result of having attended an event organised by the High Pay Centre.

Stephen Bevan
12 November 2013

Performance pay won’t perform in the classroom
An article by Schools Minister David Laws last week displayed an enthusiasm for performance-related pay (PRP) for teachers which is based more on ideology than evidence. I’m sure Mr Laws genuinely believes these proposals will command wide public support among those who bemoan educational standards or who think that teachers have been protected from the pressures of what he likes to call ‘the real world’

Stephen Bevan
22 October 2013

Good Health? Yes Minister – whatever your portfolio
It may sound trite, but the old saying that ‘every minister should be a Health Minister’ has never been more true than today.

Stephen Bevan
15 October 2013

Mental health stigma and the media
I was in Poznan, Poland earlier this week speaking at an event with employers, psychiatrists, support workers and people living with schizophrenia. I was speaking about the UK experience of supporting people with serious mental illness to remain active at work, based on the research on schizophrenia we published earlier this year.

Stephen Bevan
09 October 2013

Perverse Consequences of the EU Bonus ‘Cap’?
Professor Stephen Bevan responds to the news yesterday that the Treasury is challenging an EU proposal to cap bonuses in the City.

Stephen Bevan
26 September 2013

Making diversity a mainstream issue in football – a game of two halves?
We live in a diverse society and it makes sense that the places where we work – including professional football clubs - should try to reflect some of that diversity. This is, of course, easier said than done – especially if it means changing the culture of the organisation. As we know, some cultures are very hard to change, especially when it means asking people to move outside their comfort zones.

Stephen Bevan
17 July 2013

NICE to examine employers’ role in improving the health of employees – but what about the other parts of the puzzle?
Fit for Work UK coalition chair, Professor Stephen Bevan, welcomes new NICE guidance for employers on helping people with long-term conditions to continue working, but warns that to make an impact, healthcare practitioners will need to be much more involved in their patients’ work outcomes.

Stephen Bevan
16 July 2013

New remit for NICE offers hope for workers with chronic ill-health
The Work Foundation has been warning for a while that the burden of chronic ill-health in the working age population threatens both long-term competitiveness and productivity of the UK workforce. We have identified some of the policy barriers to dealing with this problem.

Stephen Bevan
25 June 2013

Cognitive enhancement – the next leap forward in productivity?
In a knowledge-based economy, perhaps the next ‘great leap’ lies in the use of cognitive enhancers or ‘smart drugs’ to improve our concentration, allow us to work longer without sleep, improve our memories, reduce impulsivity or improve our ability to plan.

Stephen Bevan
31 May 2013

Is chasing GDP growth the only way to prosperity?
A review the seminar at which Stephen was involved, organised by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political grouping in the European Parliament.

Stephen Bevan
12 April 2013

Can tax breaks for employers improve the health and productivity of the workforce?
A review of the impact that tax relief to employers – up to a limit of £500 per head - who help employees back to work after a period of absence.

Stephen Bevan
20 March 2013

Breaking the silence on mental health in the workplace
Approximately one in six workers in the UK are currently experiencing a mental health condition – most often anxiety, depression and stress. These conditions are a major cause of sickness absence and worklessness, resulting in 600,000 lost workdays each year.

Stephen Bevan
19 February 2013

How to win the talent war when the going gets tough beyond the nine-to-five
This week, as post-Christmas blues, poor weather, returning to work and the arrival of unwelcome energy bills all combined to lower the national mood (annually dubbed Blue Monday), we provided a sneak preview to our partners of a forthcoming report through a webinar with a distinguished panel.

Stephen Bevan
23 January 2013

Redundancy consultation period halved: Mood music more discordant
The Government has reduced the consultation period for redundancy from 90 days to 45 days. Is the Government's 'Mood Music' helpful in promoting good workplace relations.

Stephen Bevan
19 December 2012

Taking the strain: Measuring the impact of musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) remain the single most important cause of absence from work among UK workers. With more support from public serices, this could all change.

Stephen Bevan
12 December 2012

Is the Japanese Workforce ‘Fit for Work?’
The publication of our Fit for Work? reports in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year confirmed that the initiative now has a global ‘reach’. With Canada, Israel and Turkey the subject of previous reports (and Russia, Brazil and the USA in the pipeline) the Fit for Work? messages are really gathering momentum. And last Friday I had the honour to be in Tokyo to present the findings of our Fit for Work? research in Japan.

Stephen Bevan
21 November 2012

A welcome focus on mental illness by Mr Miliband
A third of people in the UK say they would not be willing to work with someone who has a mental health problem. Despite the progress which has been made to raise awareness of mental illness in the UK, one of the biggest barriers to a breakthrough is stigma.

Stephen Bevan
29 October 2012

Beware Greeks bearing bricks
A 500-page document known as El Ladrillo or ‘The Brick’ has a special and painful significance for many people in Chile. It was, in 1973, the basis for what became a twenty year economic experiment. Guided by the free-market philosophy of Milton Friedman and colleagues at the University of Chicago, the so-called ‘Chicago Boys’ in the post-coup government of General Pinochet used it to shape the deregulated and privatised future of Chile’s economy. Today, of course, it’s hard to imagine that a whole economy could be run as a live experiment. It was no less than an audacious large-scale test of a political and economic ideology.

Stephen Bevan
29 October 2012

Leadership needed to avert looming crisis in EU workforce health
This week I have been chairing the 4th Annual Fit for Work Summit in Brussels. The Fit for Work programme is a 35-country study which has been examining the burden of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on the health and productivity of working-age people across Europe, Australasia, North America and parts of Asia. Over 200 delegates from across the world spent two days hearing presentations from eminent clinicians, from patients, from policy-makers and from health economists. Their message was clear: MSDs in the workforce cost the EU over 240 billion Euros each year (up to 2% of GDP) and much more can be done to prevent the loss of productivity and the risk of social exclusion which they represent.

Stephen Bevan
19 October 2012

A workplace focus on World Mental Health Day
On World Mental Health Day it seems appropriate to pause and to reflect both on what has been achieved in promoting better understanding of mental illness, and what is still to achieve. Today I spoke at an event with Health Minister Norman Lamb MP to draw attention to the issue of mental health at work and to highlight some of the excellent work which the Department of Health as an employer is doing to promote psychological wellbeing.

Stephen Bevan
10 October 2012

Trading Shares for….a P45?
Mr Osborne managed to avoid using the word ‘growth’ even once in his speech at the Conservative Conference this week. Yet, as the IMF pointed out in their report the day after, this is something which the UK and other developed economies are likely to be short of for a few months yet.

Stephen Bevan
10 October 2012

Sickness presence makes the heart grow weaker?
The 2012 CIPD Survey on Absence Management, published this week raises serious questions about the extent of presenteeism in the UK workforce.

Stephen Bevan
10 October 2012

Weeding out the 'Idlers' won't raise GDP
“The British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor”. This is one view of the UK labour market which is gaining ground among a growing number of politicians and think-tanks on the ‘de-regulating’ side of the debate on economic recovery. In their recent book, ‘Britannia Unchained’, the authors argue that employers are held back from creating wealth and new jobs by regulations which prevent them from sacking ‘coasting’ workers. In doing so they are echoing calls in the Beecroft Report that excessive employment regulation is strangling economic growth.

Stephen Bevan
14 September 2012

Perverse incentives in the banking and finance sector
I guess that few people will be all that surprised by the latest tales of ‘dodgy’ practices in the banking and finance sector. The coverage of this scandal is re-visiting an assortment of related recent stories ranging from the adequacy of self-regulation, to banking and citizenship, to the moral equivalence between alleged fraud in the City and being jailed for stealing a bottle of water in the 2011 riots.

Stephen Bevan
29 June 2012

Health Minister launches mental health guidance at The Work Foundation
The challenge of mental illness in the UK workforce is, slowly but surely, emerging from the shadows. The recent debate in Parliament and the willingness of a growing number of high-profile public figures disclosing their own battles with depression are evidence of this. Yesterday at The Work Foundation Health Minister Earl Howe launched the latest Public Health Responsibility Deal pledge on mental health at work. The focus of the pledge, and the guidance material for employers which accompanies it, is the need to make simple adjustments at work for people with mental illness.

Stephen Bevan
26 June 2012

Mental Illness at Work: Still mostly in the closet?
In 1998 Kjell Magne Bondevik, the then Prime Minister of Norway, took several weeks away from work to receive respite and treatment for depression. Back then his public admission of having a condition that we know 1 in 6 workers also have, was greeting with a mixed reaction.

Stephen Bevan
15 June 2012

Chronic pain in Europe
Earlier this week I spoke at the Societal Impact of Pain conference in Copenhagen, under the auspices of the Danish Presidency of the EU. This is a major event bringing together clinicians, patient organisations and researchers who are working on issues arising from the growing burden of chronic pain in Europe’s population.

Stephen Bevan
01 June 2012

Can the European social model help firms recover?
How often do HR professionals in the UK get asked to brief their senior teams about the impact of the European social model on their business? Unless they have operations in the EU, or have European Works Councils, my guess would be not very often.

Stephen Bevan
30 May 2012

Thousands on ten thousand a day
One of the biggest public health challenges we face in the UK is that of physical exercise. Sedentary lifestyles mean that too many of us take little or no regular or strenuous physical exercise. As a result, rates of obesity, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and depression are higher than they should be.

Stephen Bevan
24 May 2012

‘Gis a Job Mr Beecroft
It is a bitter irony that, while I was waiting for the Beecroft Report to be published yesterday, my son – who has learning difficulties – was dismissed by his employer.

Stephen Bevan
22 May 2012

Fit for Work Down Under
The influence of Fit for Work research now extends far beyond Europe with our study of MSDs in Australia published on 13 May.

Stephen Bevan
14 May 2012

The Work Foundation - Ten Years On
Ten years ago today The Work Foundation was launched at an event in London’s Docklands. It was a bold and, some thought, foolhardy venture. Picking up the baton from its trusted predecessor, The Industrial Society , was always going to be a daunting task. But I’d argue that the vision for the new organisation set out at the time remains compelling and relevant today.

Stephen Bevan
11 April 2012

Coalition Government sets cap on ‘excessive’ incomes
You could be forgiven for being unfamiliar with Section 953(b) of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In fact, if you are familiar with it, you really should get out more.

Stephen Bevan
24 January 2012

Can employee share ownership undermine ‘crony capitalism’?
Amid all the talk of ‘Good Capitalism’ it was only a matter of time before proposals to re-invigorate share ownership among UK employees were dusted off again. The rationale is clear. Executive pay, which in too many cases appears to bear no relation to the performance of the business, is widely regarded as being out of control.

Stephen Bevan
16 January 2012

The Only Way is Ethics
Ed Miliband’s speech today re-emphasises the need to place fairness and business ethics at the centre of what has been called ‘good capitalism’. These sentiments have been echoed today by commentators like Polly Toynbee and, as far back as the mid-nineties, by our very own Will Hutton in his book The State We’re In.

Stephen Bevan
10 January 2012

More heat than light in the row about migration statistics
It’s only Tuesday and already there have been several angry exchanges between researchers on the impact of migration on UK unemployment.

Stephen Bevan
10 January 2012

Can we keep a lid on executive pay?
It’s the start of the bonus season. This week, US banks will start to announce the bonuses some of their top executives will be enjoying, closely followed in the coming days by their UK counterparts.

Stephen Bevan
09 January 2012

Soccer star’s health concerns illustrate the plight of thousands
The Manchester United and Scotland star Darren Fletcher has announced an extended break from football while he receives treatment for Ulcerative Colitis – a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Stephen Bevan
14 December 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On – Why we need to support resilience in the workforce
There seems to be no let-up in sight to the gloomy economic outlook. Growth is stagnant, unemployment is growing, fear of job loss remains high and pressure on workers and their families is building.

Stephen Bevan
08 December 2011

Regional Pay – Can it work this time?
Tucked away in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement yesterday was an apparently uncontroversial commitment to review the case for Regional pay in the public sector.

Stephen Bevan
30 November 2011

With the jobless total over 2.5m, why should we worry whether work is ‘good’ work?
Since the publication in July of our Good Work Commission report ‘Good Work and Our Times’, the issue of business ethics, corporate responsibility and ‘good’ capitalism has been high on the agenda.

Stephen Bevan
08 November 2011

Early access to physiotherapy is vital if we are to help people stay in work
Since 2007 The Work Foundation has been conducting research into the impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on work participation and productivity. This research has now extended beyond the UK to most EU member states, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and now Brazil.

Stephen Bevan
07 October 2011

Employment regulation kills job creation, right?
Tomorrow sees the introduction of new Agency Worker regulations in the UK. Among other things, it means that people on temporary contracts or carrying out agency work will have the right from day one in an assignment to access end-users’ collective facilities such as canteens, childcare facilities, and so on and to be told about job vacancies. Perhaps most significantly, after 12 weeks, they have the right to the same basic pay and working conditions as permanent staff.

Stephen Bevan
30 September 2011

Investing in workforce health in tough times
How can we ensure that the NHS plays its part in helping people with long-term health conditions to stay in work? Are GPs – especially in their new commissioning role - properly equipped with the expertise they need to advise employers about workplace adjustments for employees with chronic illness? Is the government still thinking in ‘silos’ about workforce health as budgets tighten? Will the sickness absence review make decisive recommendations about keeping people in work rather than languishing on benefits?

Stephen Bevan
20 September 2011

Old problems, new thinking
It would be heartening to think that the gloomy news about the economy and the labour market would stimulate some novel thinking and even some constructive collaboration among politicians. Yet, as the political party season swings into action it is more likely there will be attempts to grab headlines with eye-catching but mostly inconsequential policy announcements and carefully positioned press releases, autobiographies and even personal sideswipes by former or current political allies. In addition, the coalition parties are sure to use parts of their conferences to emphasise how they are sticking to their own principles and are fighting their corner robustly in coalition debates.

Stephen Bevan
20 September 2011

UN boffins need to consider worker’s health too
In New York this week a very eminent group of clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists and politicians have been sitting down at a major UN conference on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). They are rightly concerned about the rapidly burden of cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), cancer, obesity, diabetes etc which affect more of us each year. And although the main focus is on the wider public health priorities, with people having to work longer and the workforce around the world getting older it is no longer enough to think of these, and other, conditions being confined to those who have already retired.

Stephen Bevan
20 September 2011

Work Foundation Report on Poland Endorsed by Lech Walesa
The second half of 2011 sees Poland take on the Presidency of the EU and this week The Work Foundation launched a major report examining the economic, social and labour market consequences of musculoskeletal disorders in the Polish workforce...

Stephen Bevan
09 September 2011

Lord Sugar, Skivers and Office Chairs
It is with tedious, metronomic regularity that reports about malingering British workers appear in our business pages. Another one has come out this morning. PwC has conducted a survey which claims that a third of workers admit to ‘skiving’ – having time off sick when they were not genuinely ill. Consultancy firms know that journalists love stories about the ‘workshy’, they also know that – in most cases – their press releases will be picked up uncritically. However I have two problems with this one.

Stephen Bevan
18 July 2011

Lord Patten, BBC Pay & Supermarket Trolleys
The current debate about ‘Top Pay’ in the public sector – most recently prompted by Lord Patten’s Andrew Marr interview and his RTS lecture on ‘toxic’ pay dispersion in the BBC – raises some tricky questions about the role that Non-executive Directors (NEDs) have traditionally played in influencing senior executive remuneration. In fact, it puts me in mind of an old joke:

Stephen Bevan
07 July 2011

The Good Work Commission
For the last two years The Work Foundation has been providing the secretariat to the Good Work Commission...

Stephen Bevan
04 July 2011

Wanted: Modern employment support for disabled people
Amid last week’s fuss about the launch of the government’s Work Programme (a fuss ably contributed to by my colleague Dr Neil Lee!), the launch of the Sayce Review of employment support for disabled people on Thursday was almost overshadowed.

Stephen Bevan
14 June 2011

A bleak picture for the european workforce?
The recession has very clearly had severe consequences for the whole European labour market. With seasonally adjusted unemployment across the EU-27 standing at 9.9 per cent – a total of 22.5 million people out of work – the picture is looking especially bleak. Of course, some groups in the labour market have suffered more than others.

Stephen Bevan
07 June 2011

Mental health at Work – Still the elephant in the room?
This week there has been plenty of good quality coverage of the issue of mental health in the workplace. This is largely down to the excellent 'Taking care of business' campaign by the mental health charity Mind. On Tuesday I was invited to participate in a business summit, organised by Mind, hosted by AXA and addressed by Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform.

Stephen Bevan
20 May 2011

Living and working with Crohn’s & Colitis
Yesterday (19 May) I spoke at the Parliamentary launch of a new report looking at the employment experiences of people with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Conducted by Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the survey-based research looked at the long-term impact of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on the career aspirations, opportunities and choices of the 240,000 people in the UK with this condition. I have been a member of the research Steering Group.

Stephen Bevan
20 May 2011

Just desserts?
The interim report of the High Pay Commission, published on Monday, focuses attention – yet again – on the fundamental issue of fairness in modern workplaces.

Stephen Bevan
18 May 2011

Two years on ESA: More likely to die or retire than return to work
The migration of people from long-term sickness absence onto Employment Support Allowance (ESA) – formerly Incapacity Benefit stands at about 3000 each week. Research published last week showed that the majority of these claimants are now suffering from mental health problems, with employers and the government seemingly powerless to stem the flow.

Stephen Bevan
12 May 2011

Enhancing workforce resilience, wellbeing & productivity
Here at The Work Foundation we know all too well that many organisations are increasingly worried by the worsening health and wellbeing of their employees (and the bottom line implications)...

Stephen Bevan
11 May 2011

The One Show: former ‘Apprentice’ focuses on working mothers
If you are a fan of The Apprentice you probably remember Katie Hopkins from a couple of series ago. She didn’t quite conform to the ‘pushy squirt’ template of the other competitors although, among other things, she raised eyebrows when she withdrew from the show at a very late stage citing childcare concerns. Since the show she has returned to her career in consultancy and has taken to airing her sometimes challenging views in national newspapers and on other TV shows like Question Time.

Stephen Bevan
05 May 2011

Work Capability Assessments Re-assessed
In some quarters it has become acceptable to caricature claimants of long-term sickness benefits as workshy malingerers. This has contributed to a prevailing mood of intolerance and indignation in parts of the press, reflecting that felt – it has to be said - by many ordinary folk.

Stephen Bevan
24 November 2010

490,000 jobs to go: Will 'Natural Wastage' deliver?
George Osbourne was very keen in his CSR speech earlier this month to reassure the 490,000 Public Sector workers who will lose their jobs over the next four years. He hoped that a significant proportion of the jobs could be lost through ‘natural wastage’, implying that compulsory redundancy will only be used as a last resort. But should public servants be comforted by this?

Stephen Bevan
28 October 2010

Welfare reform for workers with chronic illness
One of the ‘hot’ issues being debated at the Conservative Party Conference this week is welfare reform....

Stephen Bevan
04 October 2010

Early intervention keeps Phil on course
The news that World No 2 golfer Phil Mickelson has been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis brings into sharp relief the importance of the early diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory conditions if people are to stand the best chance of living normal lives and staying in work.

Stephen Bevan
18 August 2010

Is work ruining our lives?
On Wednesday 21 July, I chaired the 4th Annual Relate Lecture given this year by its new President, Professor Cary Cooper of the University of Lancaster....

Stephen Bevan
28 July 2010

Anne Milton MP and health in the workplace
Last week I was asked, with Dame Carol Black, to brief the new Health Minister, about progress on the Health and Work agenda......

Stephen Bevan
26 July 2010

Sickness absence down, but is sickness ‘presence’ up?
The latest CBI data on sickness absence in the UK workforce shows a fall in the number of working days lost, compared with previous years.

Stephen Bevan
07 June 2010

The Natural Wastage Trap
There’s something reassuring – even benign – about politicians announcing that they expect that job cuts can be achieved through ‘natural wastage’.....

Stephen Bevan
26 May 2010

And so we wait
It’s been a long night. As predicted by many, a hung parliament beckons. And not just any old hung parliament. Whichever permutation is examined it looks like a coalition potentially built on sand.

Stephen Bevan
07 May 2010

Related Media Coverage

Do public sector workers really take more sick leave?
Since the coalition government was elected in 2010 the UK public sector has become a political battleground. For some, it is complacent and bloated, with a culture of entitlement, gold-plated pensions with generous early retirement options, automatic pay rises based on “sitting tight” in your job and levels of job security which contrast with the precariousness of the “real world”. For others, especially in the last five years, the public sector has been under siege, with over 450,000 jobs cut since 2010 and up to 400,000 more forecast by 2020. It has been hit by pay freezes, reduced pension benefits, increased workloads and deflated morale.

Stephen Bevan
11 January 2016

Related News

School chosen for pioneering Head of Wellbeing pilot
Nuffield Health today launches school wellbeing pilot, to explore the concept of a Head of Wellbeing post as an integral part of secondary school infrastructure.

Stephen Bevan
08 September 2015

Prof Stephen Bevan on the Health at Work Policy Unit
Professor Stephen Bevan discusses the aims of The Work Foundation's Health at Work Policy Unit which was launched on 21 October 2014.

Stephen Bevan
03 November 2014

Improved wellbeing among NHS staff is essential
Welcoming the NHS Five Year Forward View report and its focus on workforce health, Professor Stephen Bevan, who this week launched the Health at Work Policy Unit at Lancaster University's Work Foundation, said..

Stephen Bevan
23 October 2014

UK worst performing OECD country for supporting workforce mental health
The Work Foundation and Paul Burstow MP comment on the launch of a report published today (10 February) by the OECD, Mental Health and Work – UK, hosted at The Work Foundation. The findings show that mental health costs the UK £70 billion each year (about 4.5% GDP) in lost productivity at work and benefits payments. It includes recommendations for policy makers and employers to better tackle the issue.

Stephen Bevan
10 February 2014

Creating a positive career culture for low wage work could boost productivity
Staff who dislike their jobs are 3 times more likely to call in sick, but creating a positive career culture for low wage work could boost productivity and growth by £49 billion. Improving how low wage, low skilled jobs are designed, such as contact centre work, could boost UK productivity. Recent studies show that 80% of the 587,000 new jobs created in the UK are primarily in low wage work.

Stephen Bevan
05 February 2014

Highlights of the 2013 Fit for Work Europe Summit
Video highlights of the Fit for Work Europe Summit held in Brussels in October 2013.

Stephen Bevan
04 February 2014

Fit For Work Russia
Professor Stephen Bevan talks about the Fit for Work Russia conference which took place in September this year.

Stephen Bevan
08 October 2013

Work and health link must be priority in any efforts to reduce long-term unemployment rates
Ahead of the Shadow Health Secretary’s speech at Labour Party conference, Professor Stephen Bevan, Fit for Work UK Coalition chair is calling for all political parties to commit to policies which integrate health and work outcomes for people with long-term conditions

Stephen Bevan
25 September 2013

Work Programme failing people with long-term conditions
Professor Stephen Bevan comments on The Department for Work and Pensions' latest set of Work Programme official statistics ( 27 June).

Stephen Bevan
27 June 2013

Government response to Sickness Absence Review welcomed but flawed
The government has today published its response to Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence.

Stephen Bevan
17 January 2013