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GET INVOLVED

To discuss how you and your organisation can get more involved with The Work Foundation, please contact us.

Call 020 7976 3575 or email info@theworkfoundation.com

CONTACT

Karen Steadman
Senior Researcher
Email

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. It draws on The Work Foundation’s substantial expertise in workforce health, its reputation in the health and wellbeing arena and its relationships with policy makers. The HWPU aims to provide an independent, authoritative and evidence- based voice capable of articulating the views of all stakeholders.

It does this through three main functions:

  • The production of ‘white papers’ which draw on pre-existing literature and data and are informed by expert advice, in order to form innovative, insightful and practical policy recommendations
  • Responding to and influencing political debate
  • Acting as a repository for information, good practice and evidence-based solutions, and monitoring and publicising national, regional or local initiatives.

By thinking big, we hope to form new and innovative policy recommendations which can genuinely alter the attitudes and behaviour of policy makers, health professionals, employers and individuals towards workforce health.

The key areas of focus for the first year will be:
  • Barriers to employers implementing health and wellbeing interventions at work
  • Supporting employers to deal with the fluctuating nature of chronic conditions
  • Making a difference at a local level (the role of Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards)
  • Taking a proactive approach to an ageing workforce

  • The HWPU is supported by the British Safety Council,  Bupa and Napp Pharmaceutical Group.

 

For more information, please contact Karen Steadman ksteadman@theworkfoundation.com

Related Reports

Is welfare to work, working well? Improving employment rates for people with disabilities and long-term conditions
The latest report from the Health at Work Policy Unit focuses on mechanisms for improving the disability-employment gap

Cicely Dudley, Libby McEnhill and Karen Steadman
26 May 2016

Don`t stop me now: supporting young people with chronic conditions from education to employment
The sixth policy paper from the Health and Work Policy Unit calls for greater support to be offered to young people...

Zofia Bajorek, Victoria Donnaloja and Libby McEnhill
23 February 2016

This Won`t Hurt a Bit: Supporting small business to be healthy, wealthy and wise
This report suggests that there is a clear need for SMEs to support the health and wellbeing of their staff more consistently, and that there is a strong business, human and economic case for them doing so.

Libby McEnhill and Karen Steadman
24 November 2015

Investing in a Workforce Fit for the Future
Poor employment outcomes for people with long-term health conditions contradicts the fact that many people with such conditions are able and motivated to work – what is lacking is the right support to enable them to do so. The costs of ill-health in the working age population are not only borne by the health, social and welfare systems, but also in terms of national productivity, and by individuals and their families. An ageing population, higher retirement age, and increased chronic illness mean the workforce health challenge issue is likely to grow.

Health at Work Policy Unit
16 September 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

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

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

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

Related Events

Can the new Health and Work Programme close the disability employment gap?
The report examines the return-to-work support that is available to individuals with a work-limiting condition wanting to work, including mainstream provision such as the Work Programme and more specialist support such as Work Choice and numerous small-scale local schemes. We identify examples of good practice, but also areas where the support offered is falling well short of what is needed and may, in some instances, constitute a barrier to moving into work in and of itself.

Thu, 26 May 2016
14:00 - 17:00

Young people with chronic conditions and their transition into employment
Young people with chronic conditions and the transition from education to employment

Tue, 23 February 2016
09:00 - 12:00

Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference
We were delighted to speak at this year's prestigious Health and Wellbeing at Work conference. Now in its 10th year, the focus was about improving the health and wellbeing of work-aged people.

Tue, 08 March 2016 - Wed, 09 March 2016

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
SMEs, Health and Wellbeing, a report launch by the Health at Work Policy Unit

Tue, 24 November 2015
09:00 - 11:30

Report Launch: Supporting older workers with health conditions to remain active in the labour market
The paper explores how effectively policy is supporting older employees with health conditions to stay in work or to return to work, what the barriers are preventing them from remaining active in the labour market and what more policymakers and employers could do to better support older workers to stay in work for longer.

Wed, 22 July 2015
14:30 - 16:30

Roundtable Event: Supporting older workers with health conditions to remain active in the labour market
This invite only roundtable will explore what the barriers are preventing older workers with health conditions from remaining active in the labour market and what more policy could do to address these issues. It will be chaired by Professor Stephen Bevan, Director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation, and attended by a select group of representatives of large and small employers, of employer bodies, charities and academics.

Tue, 02 June 2015
10:00 - 11:30

Connecting health and employment at a local level: Launch of Health at Work Policy Unit Paper
This event launches the latest research from the Health at Work Policy unit and explores the role of local government and other stakeholders in supporting better employment outcomes for people with health conditions, and improving the health of the working age population more generally.

Tue, 21 April 2015
15:00 - 17:00

Fluctuating conditions, fluctuating support: Launch of the second Health at Work Policy Unit Paper
The Work Foundation’s Health at Work Policy Unit launched its second policy paper on fluctuating conditions.

Thu, 22 January 2015
14:30 - 16:30

Workforce Health and Wellbeing: Launch of the Health at Work Policy Unit
he Work Foundation’s new Health at Work Policy Unit will provide an independent, authoritative and evidence- based voice, in the public debate on health, wellbeing and work. This event will mark the launch of the Unit’s first white paper focusing on removing barriers to health in work, the first of a series which will respond to contemporary debate and offer accurate, evidence-based and implementable policy suggestions.

Tue, 21 October 2014
08:30 - 10:30

Related Blogs

Is welfare to work, working well - a review by Debbie Abrahams MP
I was delighted to be asked to speak at the launch of the Work Foundation’s new report ‘Is welfare to work, working well? Improving employment rates for people with disabilities and long-term conditions’.

13 June 2016

Is welfare to work, working well? - a review of the report launch from the Society of Occupational Medicine
A review of the 'Is welfare to work, working well?' report launch.

Nick Pahl, CEO, Society of Occupational Medicine
01 June 2016

Is welfare to work, working well?
Employment rates for people with disabilities and long term conditions (LTCs) have long been below the national average. This is perhaps understandable, when you consider the additional barriers that these people face when both looking for and retaining employment. Data from 2014 tells us that whilst the national employment rate was 76.1% at that time, only 46.1% of disabled people were in work.

27 May 2016

Unequal Opportunities – trying to balance apprenticeships and long-term health conditions
Apprenticeships provide a much needed opportunity to support young people to develop skills and build careers – but are those who could most benefit from them being locked out? Find out more...

Researcher
16 March 2016

Peer support should be a central plank of employment support
When we think of public services we tend to think of an interaction between a ‘provider’ of support and its recipient. In health and social care, for instance, a health professional or care worker gives their expertise/support to the ‘patient’ (a word redolent of passivity – its original meanings include to suffer without complaint or be ‘under’ a medical practitioner). Usually these interactions are one to one; and every time cost reductions come, they get shorter (witness 15 minute care visits), less frequent – or disappear altogether. In employment support, too, the dominant model is one to one support from an advisor. This is out of tune with wider trends.

15 February 2016

Financial wellbeing ….the missing piece in the employee wellbeing picture
Financial concerns remain a major issue for millions of people in the UK, while the knock-on effect for the health of people in debt, is serious. Greater awareness is needed, particularly from employers as increasing numbers of employees face in-work poverty.

20 January 2016

‘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...

Director of Research
11 December 2015

This won’t hurt a bit: how can we support small business to be healthy, wealthy and wise?
Although they are individually small in size, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – businesses employing 0-249 people - make a substantial contribution to the UK economy. They account for 99.9% of UK private sector businesses, and 99.3% of these (5.3 million) are ‘small’ businesses, employing less than 50 people. In total, SMEs employ 15.6 million people, or 60% of the private sector workforce, and they contribute 47% - £1.8 trillion – of private sector turnover in the UK.

Researcher at The Work Foundation
24 November 2015

Overcoming the ‘so what’ question – looking at health and wellbeing from an SME perspective
After working in this field for a number of years I have developed a particular interest in engaging SMEs in this agenda. This new report by the Work Foundation echoes many of my experiences with SMEs as I have continually sought to understand what the barriers and enablers are for this sector and how best to engage them at scale.

Director and Specialist Advisor on work, wellbeing and health at Flourish Workplace Ltd
24 November 2015

Working for better mental health - results from a survey of employees
One in every eight UK employees– some 4 million people - are working with a mental health condition. Ahead of World Mental Health Day (10th October), we take a moment to look at some of the numbers around mental health and work, and the provision of workplace support to help people to stay in their jobs.

Senior Researcher
09 October 2015

Workforce health – a missing piece in the UK productivity puzzle?
The 37 million people that make up the UK working age population are the greatest economic and resource we have. The physical and psychological health of the working age population is often discussed as a health issue, a social issue, or a welfare issue, but it is even more than this. We at The Work Foundation (like many others) believe that the poor health of the UK workforce is also an issue for UK productivity and UK growth. There needs to be cross-government recognition of the multifaceted issue of poor health in the working age population.

Senior Researcher
16 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...

Director of the Health at Work Policy Unit
29 July 2015

Older workers with health conditions: supporting people in work and planning for retirement
The UK workforce is ageing. As examined in The Work Foundation report, Living long, working well, being able to work longer is one way for people to ensure that they have a healthier future with adequate income in retirement..... Joanne Sawyer of Age UK discusses how we can better support older workers at work and when planning for retirement.

Equality and Human Rights Policy Adviser at Age UK
22 July 2015

Work on and live with purpose
The good news – we’re living longer. The challenge – we haven’t updated the way we think about our working careers and ‘retirement’. You simply can’t finance a 30 year retirement with a 40 year working life. But that’s what it seems we’re trying to do! It’s time to redesign the approach to retirement.

26 May 2015

A note for the incoming government: Why we need local solutions to local problems to improve workforce health
The call to take a more local approach to issues, allowing local bodies to develop the best solutions for local problems, was a key aspect of the coalition government’s agenda. Now, as this government’s first term draws to a close, we ask, to what extent has this localism agenda worked to improve the health and wellbeing of the working age population? Looking forward to the next government – what could they do differently to encourage local bodies to take more joined-up local action to improve workforce health and wellbeing?

29 April 2015

Fluctuating health conditions – what does this mean for small business owners?
I have to confess that until last December when I joined a roundtable hosted by The Work Foundation’s Health at Work Policy Unit, I didn’t know what ‘fluctuating health conditions’ were, much less that I have at least one such condition and, within the small business I run, we have more than 10 years’ experience of helping individuals manage such conditions.

director of Wilson Sherriff Ltd
22 January 2015

Fluctuating conditions, fluctuating support?
It is estimated that by 2030, four out of ten working age people will have at least one chronic health condition, and some will have several. In many of them the symptoms will fluctuate, often unpredictably. This can present a challenge both to them and to their employers.

22 January 2015

Are we really doing enough to help those most at risk of falling out of the labour market to stay in work?
Despite a number of advances in the way we are helping those with chronic and fluctuating conditions to stay in work, such as reforms to access to work, the introduction of the right to request flexible working and DWP’s latest initiative, Fit for Work , we have to ask ourselves – are we really doing enough to help those most at risk of falling out of the labour market to stay in work?

22 January 2015

Cancer and work – how employers can support staff with fluctuating conditions
Last month I represented Macmillan at a roundtable event organised by The Work Foundation’s Health at Work Policy Unit, to discuss how employers can be better supported to deal with fluctuating conditions at work. This was a precursor to a report being launched by the Unit in January 2015. Following this event, I was keen to share some thoughts about work and the fluctuating symptoms which cancer can cause.

09 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.

12 November 2014

The Way Forward: Policy options for improving UK workforce health
The last two decades have seen a growing understanding among policy-makers, academics and practitioners that employee health and wellbeing is important - for the individual, the organisation and society - and it has become increasingly important that policymakers and organisations understand their role in developing health and wellbeing initiatives.

21 October 2014

Reflections on the health and work policy landscape
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the launch of The Work Foundation’s Health at Work Policy Unit comes nine years after the Health, Work and Wellbeing Strategy was published...

21 October 2014

Related News

Employment support overhaul is vital, says new report

Disability News Service
02 June 2016

Little to address the bigger picture of mental prevention and social inclusion
In addressing the employment difficulties experienced by many people with mental health conditions we must look at the whole picture of what effects people's ability to achieve and sustain employment.

Huffington Post
04 December 2015

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.

08 September 2015

Greater support needed for 7m older workers with chronic illness
A new report from The Work Foundation says that the government must overhaul policies and help employers support the health needs of the 7.2m older workers in the UK who have chronic illnesses. Find out more....

22 July 2015

Health and Social Care Integration failing to encourage and support local action to improve workforce health and wellbeing
A report released today (21 April)'Healthy, Working Economies' will call on the next government to review how it is using local organisations, such as Health and Wellbeing Boards and Local Enterprise Partnerships, to encourage improvements in workforce health and wellbeing.

21 April 2015

Early part-time sick pay a lifeline for keeping those with fluctuating conditions in work
A report released on Thursday (22 January), Fluctuating Conditions, Fluctuating Support, will call on government to support measures to increase the flexibility of sickness absence policies, to allow employees with fluctuating health conditions to preemptively arrange part-time sick leave.

22 January 2015

Professor Stephen Bevan awarded 2014 GAMIAN-Europe European personality
Professor Stephen Bevan will today (16 January) receive the 2014 GAMIAN-Europe European Personality award. It has been awarded for his prominent contribution to the field of mental health.

19 January 2015

The Health At Work Unit Policy Unit featured in Occupational Health (print)
The Health At Work Unit Policy featured in Occupational Health (print)

Occupational Health (print)
05 December 2014

Stephen Bevan quoted in Agg-Net on workplace health interventions and productivity.
Stephen Bevan quoted in Agg-Net on workplace health interventions : MSDs and chronic conditions interventions can help workforce be productive.

Agg-Net (Web)
03 December 2014

Professor Stephen Bevan featured in Management Today Magazine on poor quality work and impact on psychosocial health
Professor Stephen Bevan featured in Management Today Magazine on poor quality work and impact on psychosocial health

Management Today Magazine (Web)
02 December 2014

The Bip (Web) cites Professor Stephen Bevan's recent article on sickness absence and chronic conditions
The Bip (Web) cites Professor Stephen Bevan's recent article on sickness absence and chronic conditions

The Bip (Web)
27 November 2014

Professor Stephen Bevan's article on sickness absence and chronic conditions cited in Process and Control Today
Professor Stephen Bevan's article on sickness absence and chronic conditions cited in Process and Control Today

Process and Control Today (web)
26 November 2014

Professor Stephen Bevan's article on sickness absence and chronic conditions cited in HRreview (Web)
Professor Stephen Bevan's article on sickness absence and chronic conditions cited in HRreview (Web)

HRreview (Web)
26 November 2014

Britsafe News cites article by Professor Stephen Bevan on sickness absence and chronic conditions
Britsafe News cites article by Professor Stephen Bevan on sickness absence and chronic conditions

Britsafe News (Web)
22 November 2014

Stephen Bevan discusses why employers should invest in the business of health:The Conversation UK (Web)
Stephen Bevan discusses why employers should invest in the business of health in The Conversation UK (Web):workforce health as a productivity issue

The Conversation UK (Web)
05 November 2014

Stephen Bevan featured in HR Magazine on the need for workplace health policy and the potential gains
Stephen Bevan featured in HR Magazine on workplace health policy, the need to maximise the skills, engagement and wellbeing of the workforce.

Human Resources Magazine UK (Web)
04 November 2014

Occupational Health features research from Lancaster University's Work Foundation on self-management of MSDs
Occupational Health features research from Lancaster University's Work Foundation on self-management of MSDs- citing Kate Summers.

Occupational Health
03 November 2014

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.

03 November 2014

Lancaster University's Work Foundation cited on investing in employee mental health in Occupational Health
Occupational Health cites The Work Foundation on employee mental health in the workplace.

Occupational Health
03 November 2014

Employee health initiatives from the Health At Work Policy Unit's first white paper:Dods Politics Home
Employee health initiatives from the Health At Work Policy Unit's first white paper:Dods Politics Home

Dods Politics Home
31 October 2014

New Health at Work Policy Unit launched by Lancaster University's Work Foundation: Lancaster University (web)
New Health at Work Policy Unit launched by Lancaster University's Work Foundation covered on LUMS news page

Lancaster University (Web)
26 October 2014

Launch of the Health At Work Policy Unit featured in MyScience
Launch of white paper for the Health At Work Policy Unit featured in MyScience

MyScience (web)
25 October 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..

23 October 2014

Prof Dame Carol Black on the Health at Work Policy Unit
Professor Dame Carol Black discusses the launch of The Work Foundation's Health at Work Policy Unit.

23 October 2014

Stephen Bevan quoted in Workplace Savings & Benefits on the first white paper from the Health At Work Policy Unit
Health At Work Policy Unit Launch covered in Workplace Savings & Benefits with Stephen Bevan (co-author of white paper) quoted.

Workplace Savings & Benefits (Web)
23 October 2014

Office Insight covers the Health At Work Policy Unit launch of the first white paper: 'The Way Forward: Policy Options for Improving Workforce Health'
The Way Forward: Policy Options for Improving Workforce Health in the UK- white paper from Health At Work Policy Unit Launch

Office Insight (Web)
23 October 2014

Pay & Benefits reports on the new Health At Work Policy Unit white paper launch
Pay & Benefits features The Work Foundation's Health At Work Policy Unit Launch

Pay and Benefits (Web)
22 October 2014

Wired Gov reports on The Work Foundation's new Health At Work Policy Unit launch and white paper
Wired Gov features coverage on the Health At Work Policy Unit launch and the first white paper.

Wired Gov
22 October 2014

'Health at Work Policy Unit paper: The Way Forward: Policy Options for Improving Workforce Health in the UK' covered in HR Magazine
The Work Foundation Health at Work Policy Unit's paper The Way Forward: Policy Options for Improving Workforce Health in the UK, featured in HR Magazine

Human Resources Magazine UK (Web)
22 October 2014

Health at Work Policy Unit launch by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation: Press release from Dods
Health at Work Policy Unit launched by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation is the subject of the Dods Politics Home press release.

Dods Politics Home
21 October 2014

New policy unit says Government must reassess its strategy to achieve real improvements in health and wellbeing in the workplace
The Health at Work Policy Unit’s first paper will recommend that the Government must comprehensively reform its strategy if it’s to tackle the barriers that remain for many businesses in implementing health and wellbeing programmes.

21 October 2014