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29 November 2012
The Office of National Statistics launched the second set of national wellbeing data on the 20th November. The ultimate purpose of this project is to identify aspects of national life that could be improved through policy initiatives and/or targeted wellbeing interventions.
Last week’s expert roundtable ‘Acting on the double burden of chronic disease’ jointly organised by the Centre for Mental Health, the Kings Fund and The Work Foundation, investigated the relationship between mental health and physical long-term health issues, and their impact on employment.
28 November 2012
The Staff Health Improvement project's new report, released today, argues that proactive board level leadership, strong organisational values that explicitly link to staff health and staff engagement are amongst the elements required for successful implementation of staff health and wellbeing values.
Yesterday (27 November) was a big day for the Work Programme, with the Department for Work and Pensions releasing its first set of statistics on job outcomes.
27 November 2012
In less than two weeks the Chancellor will have to deliver one of the most difficult economic speeches for years.
23 November 2012
David Willetts today (23 Nov) launched an update of the government’s “technology foresight” exercise, which aims to identify the key technologies that will drive economic growth in the 2020s. The paper makes exciting reading for futurologists, covering 53 technologies from tissue engineering to nuclear fusion, and it gives government something to think about. This type of exercise – one which looks ahead at future sources of economic growth – is welcome, and is something governments should take seriously.
22 November 2012
Many in politics now seem to agree that the UK should have an industrial policy. Yesterday (21 Nov) I attended an SMF event during which Chuka Umunna and Michael Heseltine refused to budge from a position of agreement on - as far as I could tell - more or less everything.
21 November 2012
On Monday this week, Esther McVey, the Minister for Disabled People, announced a number of changes to the Access to Work scheme. These changes should be welcomed, as they help to relieve the cost burden of the scheme on small businesses.
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.
20 November 2012
In its Global Workforce Study, Towers Watson found that more than one in three employees are affected by excessive pressure in their job. Where is this pressure coming from?
15 November 2012
The Schizophrenia Commission Report published yesterday (14 November) gives valuable insights into the state of the UK’s mental health services, and recommendations for improving recovery outcomes for people living with schizophrenia. Importantly, the report gives hope to those living with the condition that - with the right support – recovery is a realistic possibility.
Some of the UK’s economic commentators have become afflicted by a very strange idea recently: that consumer spending is going to rescue the UK economy. At the end of September, the front page of The Economist had the British economy “Heading out of the storm”; the leader inside contained the sub-heading “Consumers to the rescue”. The argument was that job creation, rising real incomes, falling inflation and “pent-up demand” was soon to release a burst of consumption-fuelled growth.
14 November 2012
Mervyn King said this morning that he does not expect GDP growth to have much effect on inflation for the foreseeable future. That may sound mundane, but the ramifications are immense, for several reasons. For a start, as Chris Giles was quick to point out, it suggests that the Bank is unlikely to do any more QE. Taking it a step further, Duncan Weldon suggests that King has “thrown in the towel” on supporting the economy. If King is right, the government’s “monetary radicalism” approach is shot, and the fate of the UK economy now largely depends on the volatile tides of the global economy.
13 November 2012
As the Chancellor prepares for the Autumn Statement, he will be trying to respond to the Heseltine Growth Review, No Stone Unturned.
In response to the Flexible Working Announcement today, Age UK highlights that flexible working is not just for parents – and I couldn’t agree more.