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Dr Libby McEnhill
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This Won’t Hurt a Bit: Supporting small business to be healthy, wealthy and wise - a report launch by the Health at Work Policy Unit

Tuesday, 24 November 2015
09:00 - 11:30
The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street, London, SW1H 0AD


Professor Dame Carol Black, Principal of Newham College, Cambridge and Expert Advisor on Health and Work to the Department of Health and Public Health England

Nick McGruer, Department of Health and Department of Work and Pensions Work and Health Joint Unit

Jane Abraham, Director and Specialist Advisor on Work, Wellbeing and Health, Flourish Consulting Ltd

Mark Duddridge, Chair of Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership

Jacqueline Winstanley, CEO Universal Inclusion, Chair UK Forum for Hidden & Fluctuating Conditions, International Advisory Board Member C4GEI

Dr Libby McEnhill, Researcher, The Work Foundation

Chair:  Professor Stephen Bevan, Director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness, The Work Foundation

On behalf of the Health at Work Policy Unit, part of Lancaster University’s Work Foundation, were delighted to launch the fifth White Paper in the series ‘This Won’t Hurt a Bit: Supporting small business to be healthy, wealthy and wise’.

SMEs make up over 99% of all private sector businesses in the UK, and employ almost half of the UK workforce. However, many do not provide dedicated health and wellbeing support to their staff, and they face challenges in doing so that are distinct from those of large employers. This paper explores how these challenges can be addressed, focusing on the health of SME employees, the business case for SMEs engaging with health and wellbeing, the extent of barriers to further provision and gaps and shortcomings around current provision. It will also assess the scope that policy-makers have to improve health and wellbeing services to SMEs, many of which would like to do more but lack access to advice, resources or support.

The report identified a number of gaps in current provisions and makes a series of recommendations aimed at addressing these,  These are grouped under three key themes:

  1. Taking a strategic approach to SME employee health and wellbeing
  2. Developing and delivering SME-appropriate training, resources and support
  3. Improving SME access to advice and support

The event was attended by a select group of policymakers, representatives of large and small employers, of employer bodies, charities and academics. We had presentations on the findings of the report, followed by speeches from our panel drawn from both the business and health and wellbeing sectors, followed by time for questions from invitees. 

For more material and information

  • Click here to read the executive report
  • Click here to access briefing note
  • Click here to read a blog by Libby McEnhill, lead author of the report
  • Click here to read a blog by Jane Abraham, guest speaker at the launch event

For launch presentation presentations 

Back to forthcoming events