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Call 020 7976 3575 or email


David Shoesmith
Business Development Manager

Long-term conditions

There are currently around 15 million people in England living with a long-term health condition – a condition that cannot be cured, but that can be managed through medication and/or therapy. Over the two years to 2013, there will be a 60 per cent increase in the number of patients with two or more long-term conditions. In the context of the unstable labour market these people may be particularly vulnerable in maintaining their employment status and the quality of their jobs.

Our research has already demonstrated that many people with long-term conditions want to and are able to work and can be helped to keep their jobs or return to work with the support of employers, health care professionals and appropriate public policies.

We are now aiming to bring together a network of organisations tackling long-term conditions in order to develop a stronger voice to influence policy and raise awareness. Organisations joining the network will:

  • jointly influence the agenda on long-term conditions at government and business levels
  • engage with discussions at UK and European levels
  • move the core issues up the agenda to positively influence the world of work.

Related Reports

Heath and Work infographics
A series of infographics intended to help raise awareness and understanding of the relationship between health and work. Produced and published by Public Health England with support and input from The Work Foundation.

Karen Steadman and Manuel Ramos
13 September 2016

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

Peer support for employment: a review of the evidence
Peer support is the process through which people with similar experiences support one another, both emotionally and practically. For those with disabilities or health conditions, peer support can be a highly beneficial component of a treatment plan, and as such it is reasonably widely used.

Libby McEnhill, Karen Steadman and Zofia Bajorek
24 May 2016

The impact of long term conditions on employment and the wider UK economy
This report looks at the economic implications of six long term conditions (psoriasis, diabetic macular oedema, asthma, schizophrenia, heart failure and multiple sclerosis) in the UK.

Zofia Bajorek, Anthony Hind & Stephen Bevan
11 February 2016

Multiple Sclerosis and Employment in Europe - literature review
A review of Multiple Sclerosis and Employment in Europe

Stephen Bevan and Karen Steadman
14 January 2016

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

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

Working with Schizophrenia: Germany
This report highlights the barriers experienced by people with schizophrenia in Germany to entering and remaining in the open labour market, and considers what can be done to overcome them. An Executive Summary of the report is available in English and German, the full report is available in English.

Karen Steadman
09 June 2015

Working Well – Promoting job and career opportunities for those with IBD
This report, based on interviews with employers and employees, explores the impact that IBD has upon the world of work. It also recommends that government services such as Access to Work and the Fit for Work service must be reformed to support those with IBD as it now affects 1 person in every 250 in the UK and costs the economy around £300 million a year.

Zofia Bajorek, Kate Summers and Stephen Bevan
21 January 2015

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

Our submission to the Work and Pensions Select Committee on ESA and WSA
View Jenny Gulliford's submission to The Commons Committee for Work and Pensions on ESA and WSA.

Jenny Gulliford
03 April 2014

Life and employment opportunities of young people with chronic conditions
This report takes a look at the obstacles faced by young people with long-term, chronic or fluctuating conditions as they seek to make the transition from education and employment - and then to develop and thrive in the workplace.

Stephen Bevan, Ksenia Zheltoukhova, Kate Summers, Zofia Bajorek, Lisa O'Dea and Jenny Gulliford
13 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

Management of Long Term Conditions- The Work Foundation’s submission to the Health Committee
This submission was made and accepted by the Health Committee regarding the management of long term conditions and in particular the role of employment as a beneficial outcome for people with a long term health condition.

Jenny Gulliford
18 May 2013

Returning To Work
This paper outlines our recommendations on how to improve the implementation and effectiveness of the new Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service (HWAAS).

Tyna Taskila, Jenny Gulliford and Stephen Bevan
18 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

The Impact of Back Pain on Sickness Absence in Europe
A paper presented to the Societal Impact of Pain conference in Copenhagen.

Professor Stephen Bevan
01 June 2012

Adding Value: The economic and societal benefits of medical technology
This report investigates the impact of specific medical technologies to assess their current use, their impact on quality of life and labour market participation and economic arguments for their use to be increased.

S Bevan, K Zheltoukhova and R McGee
15 November 2011

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

Body and Soul
A new report from The Work Foundation which explores the inter-relationship between long term physical and mental conditions and the impact of these conditions on productivity and work participation.

Katherine Ashby and Robin McGee
20 September 2010

Spondyloarthropathy and Work: A review of UK evidence
People of working age with long-term or chronic conditions deserve to be supported to participate in the labour market.

Stephen Bevan
08 February 2010

Related Events

Fit for Work Global Alliance Summit on Early Intervention Solutions for Chronic Conditions
Fit for Work Global Alliance in partnership with the European Patients Forum (EPF) and the Association for Patients’ Rights Protection in Slovakia (AOPP) would like to invite you to the 2016 Fit for Work Global Alliance Summit in Bratislava.

Tue, 08 November 2016 - Thu, 10 November 2016
18:00 - 13:00

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

Roundtable on peer support for employment and health outcomes
There is a growing body of evidence of the value of peer support for people living with long-term health conditions or disability, and particularly mental health conditions. Such support is associated with a number of health and social outcomes – including reduced hospital admissions, an increased sense of independence and empowerment, and higher self esteem, confidence, social connectedness and community integration. We explored these issues in more detail.

Wed, 03 February 2016
10:00 - 12:00

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

Working Well – Promoting job and career opportunities for those with IBD
This event launched a new report by The Work Foundation which examines the impact that Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has on people’s ability to work and makes a series of practical recommendations for change.

Wed, 21 January 2015
16:00 - 17:30

Why work is a realistic outcome for those recovering from cancer
Macmillan Cancer Support and The Work Foundation launched two complementary reports on work and cancer.

Fri, 15 March 2013
08:30 - 10:30

Health and work service workshop for long-term conditions
The new Health and Work Service, which is set to be launched in 2014, presents an important opportunity for the government to tackle the issue of sickness absence.In response to this new service Macmillan and The Work Foundation hosted an event aimed at collating the collective expertise of a large number of health and disability charities and patient groups.

Tue, 15 October 2013

Musculoskeletal disorders: The true extent of the societal burden
This event will address the impact of musculoskeletal disorders and the implications for long-term health care and welfare spending.

Mon, 10 December 2012
10:00 - 12:00

Expert Roundtable: Acting on the double burden of chronic disease
Through this forum The Work Foundation, Centre for Mental Health and The King’s Fund aim to raise awareness of burden of comorbid conditions on the individuals and the society, and to identify policies that would support effective management of those, involving health professionals, service providers, employers and people with long term conditions

Thu, 22 November 2012
09:00 - 11:30

Managing Long-Term Health Conditions In The Workplace
This summit will provide you with the knowledge and tools to help your organisation accommodate employees with long-term fluctuating health conditions.

Tue, 15 May 2012
12:00 - 17:00

Cancer in the workplace
Why supporting people to remain in or return to work after cancer is good for business, the economy and people with cancer.

Tue, 06 December 2011
08:30 - 11:00

Related Blogs

Mental Health First Aid at the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust discuss how mental health forms a vital part of their HR strategy.

Project Manager in People and Facilities at Wellcome Trust
10 October 2016

Talking numbers on health and work
The health of the working age population remains a significant and complex challenge. The Work Foundation are working with Public Health England to shine a light on the facts by taking a look at some of the numbers.

13 September 2016

Quality and quantity? The growing evidence on what makes ‘unhealthy’ work
Karen Steadman discusses some recent studies that have appeared in the news and reflects on how the quantity and quality of work can influence the health of workers.

Senior Researcher
09 August 2016

Mental Health in the Workplace: Time to Change needed now more than ever
Dr Zofia Bajorek responds to the latest report on mental health from the CIPD

27 July 2016

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

Responding to the diagnosis of a long-term health condition - a view from an occupational physician
One of the great achievements of modern medicine has been the incredible increases in life expectancy which citizens in most countries now enjoy. Yet, as we know, one of the consequences of living longer is an increased susceptibility to a number chronic illnesses which can erode our quality of life and compromise our ability to live independently or continue to have full and fulfilling working lives... Read more...

President, Faculty of Occupational Medicine; Vice-president of Health and Chief Medical Officer, BP
08 March 2016

The economic and social cost of ignoring MSKs
Musculoskeletal conditions (MSKs) are the leading cause of sickness absence in Europe, accounting for half of all absences and 60% of permanent work incapacity. In addition, MSKs can affect annual European GDP by up to 2%, representing around €240bn in costs... Read more...

Executive Director, Fit for Work
08 February 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

Making the Work Programme work better: how can welfare-to-work programmes improve support for disadvantaged groups?
Today the Work and Pensions Select Committee released its latest report, looking at the Government’s flagship welfare-to-work initiative, the Work Programme. With the programme due for review in 2017, the report reviews contracting and delivery arrangements with a view to producing better outcomes for disadvantaged groups within the labour market.

Researcher at The Work Foundation
21 October 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

Some weaknesses of the German vocational rehabilitation system from the practitioner perspective
Werner Höhl discusses the launch of The Work Foundation's report on Schizophrenia and Employment in Germany and highlights additional ways to improve vocational support in Germany. The text is available in English and German.

09 June 2015

Raising expectations - what can we learn from the German employment support system for people with disabilities? Lessons from our two reports
Employment rates for people diagnosed with schizophrenia are extremely low – at around 8% in the UK – they are among the lowest associated with any health condition. Such data obscures the reality that many people with schizophrenia are...

09 June 2015

World IBD Day and how to raise the awareness of IBD in the workplace
Today is World IBD Day – a day to raise the awareness of IBD and what the implications of having the condition may be. This blog considers the work and career opportunities for those with IBD, drawing on findings from a report released by The Work Foundation in January of this year.

19 May 2015

Do a better job with mental health – a joint appeal to the new Government from Centre for Mental Health and The Work Foundation
Now the shape of our new political landscape is clear, it’s timely to remember that on one issue politicians of all parties express agreement, that we must improve the appallingly low rate of success so far achieved by Government programmes which are intended to help people with mental health problems back into employment. We call upon the new Government to follow through on its promises to invest in the NHS and create a pathway back to work where health and employment services work together seamlessly and swiftly.

11 May 2015

IBD at work: The employer’s perspective
When discussing the management of long-term conditions in the workplace, employers can come in for a rough time, with the perception that they are not doing enough to help employees with long-term conditions at work.

03 February 2015

Promoting job and career opportunities for those with IBD
An estimated 300,000 people suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease ( IBD) in the UK. IBD is a fluctuating, chronic, long-term condition where individuals may experience symptoms such as stomach cramps, blood in stools, and an urgency of needing the toilet. The diagnosis of IBD can occur at any time, but IBD is common in an individual’s teens or early twenties, a crucial time when they are moving from education to employment thus having an impact on an individual’s career decisions.

21 January 2015

This World Mental Health Day let's support life
Many people with schizophrenia will recover and live normal lives. Today is about making sure this happens for more people.

10 October 2014

Should I stay at home or go back to work? The positive aspects of presenteeism
In recent discussions on employee health and wellbeing, increasing attention has been paid to presenteeism. However, is presenteeism always a negative phenomenon causing harm to employees' health?

04 August 2014

Why are out of work men more likely to be ill, and what can we do about it?
Jenny Gulliford, Policy and Research Officer at The Work Foundation talks about the findings of her latest report ‘Sick of Being Unemployed' which highlights the health issues of out of work men and how support services are failing to address them.

16 June 2014

Three ways to improve the Work Programme for ESA claimants
Beth Foley, a researcher within the socio-economic centre and Jenny Gulliford, a research and policy officer within the centre for workforce effectiveness blog on what the latest Work Programme statistics mean.

Beth Foley and Jenny Gulliford
20 March 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.

Professor Stephen Bevan
10 February 2014

Debunking the myths of cancer and employment
Tyna Taskila, Senior Researcher and Co - Chair of the European Cancer and Work Research Network, blogs about the importance of vocational rehabilitation services for cancer survivors on World Cancer Day.

Dr Tyna Taskila
04 February 2014

Stigma and self-stigma is affecting the employment opportunities of young people with chronic conditions
Yesterday The Work Foundation launched a report looking at young people with chronic conditions’ experiences of education and employment. The ONS also released the latest labour market statistics yesterday, which reveal that unemployment levels among those aged 18-24 have increased. The statistics also show that people with a long term health condition or disability have an unemployment rate of 12.2% and an economic inactivity rate of 40.8% (compared to 7.4% and 15.8% respectively among people who were not long term disabled). The ONS statistics highlight the importance of developing a greater understanding of the potential barriers to employment faced by young people with chronic conditions.

14 November 2013

Why I’m standing up for schizophrenia - Schizophrenia Awareness week 11-18th November
Karen Steadman writes on schizophrenia and employment in the UK ahead of Schizophrenia Awareness week (11-18th November).

11 November 2013

How to promote good mental health in your workplace
Smart employers know that organisations are only as strong as their people – they depend on having a healthy and productive workforce. They also know people perform better when they feel able to put everything into their job; when they are confident, motivated and focused.

Emma Mamo
01 November 2013

Trust in senior management: What employees really think
Dr Zofia Bajorek, senior researcher within the centre for workforce effectiveness, responds to a report yesterday which suggests that less than a third of workers have faith in top bosses.

Dr Zofia Bajorek
25 October 2013

Simple Tasks campaign: Why early treatment is crucial for the one million people in the UK living with rheumatic conditions
The 5th Fit for Work Summit last week highlighted the need for clinicians, employers and government departments to coordinate action, so that people with Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are better supported to enter and remain in work. Early intervention and best practice were key discussion points on the day. Here, Chris Deighton, President of the British Society for Rheumatology, talks about the Simple Tasks campaign and how early treatment can greatly improve an individual’s ability to remain in employment.

Chris Deighton
24 October 2013

Fit for Work in Europe
The Fit for Work Coalition report, produced by The Work Foundation has found that Germany and UK have the worst sickness absence rates in Europe when it comes to muscular skeleton disorders (MSDs).

Cary L. Cooper, CBE, is Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University in the UK and Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences.
21 October 2013

The Health and Work Service - health and work are just the start of it…
Karen Steadman, a researcher within the centre for workforce effectiveness, provides a review about an event she attended which was organised to inform the development of Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) proposed Health and Work Service (HWS).

Karen Steadman
17 October 2013

GPs’ motivation to refer their patients into Health and Work Service (HWS) may play a key role in its success
Dr Tyna Taskila, a senior researcher within the centre for workforce effectiveness, writes about Macmillan Cancer Support's workshop on the Health and Work Service (HWS) for chronic conditions.

Dr Tyna Taskila
16 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.

Profesor Stephen Bevan
15 October 2013

Fitting health care workers to patient needs – lessons from Australia
Karen Steadman looks at some of the recommendations from the Kings Fund on the NHS and Social Care workforce, and makes an international comparison.

Karen Steadman
25 July 2013

Rethinking employment support for disabled people
Many have commented on how this financial downturn has not resulted in the kind of high rates of unemployment of previous recessions. However, for people with disabilities and long term conditions the stagnant jobs market has meant that little progress has been made in recent years to address the shocking unemployment rate of just over 50 per cent.

Tom Pollard, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, Mind
23 July 2013

How to keep cancer survivors in the workplace?
Dr Tyna Taskila further examines the latest reports in the media around the long-term health problems faced by cancer survivors.

Dr Tyna Taskila
19 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.

Steve Bevan
25 June 2013

‘Creaming and parking’ and the problem of the Work Programme’s pay structure
With the release of The Work and Pensions Select Committee's report ‘Can the Work Programme work for all user groups?’, Jenny Gulliford further examines the problem of the Work Programme’s pay structure.

Jenny Gulliford
21 May 2013

Challenges faced by cancer patients returning to work
Helping someone with cancer to stay in employment saves time and money by avoiding the need to recruit their replacement, and boosts loyalty and morale. Providing this support is easier than businesses may think.

Laura Dillingham
03 May 2013

Returning to work is getting harder for cancer survivors yet more could done
Dr Tyna Taskila responds to the latest study which reveals that a third of cancer patients lose an average of £860 in monthly income because of their illness.

Dr Tyna Taskila
02 May 2013

Reducing sickness absence – how does the government’s new service support those with long term conditions?
People with long term or chronic conditions aren’t forgotten when the service comes into practice in 2014. Jenny Gulliford, a researcher on the recently published ‘Returning to Work: Cancer and the Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service’, outlines her recommendations for government.

Jenny Gulliford
11 April 2013

600,000 fewer people to receive benefits under DLA reforms rolled out today, but has the government got it right?
An impact review as a result of the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment.

Jenny Gulliford
08 April 2013

Your staff are your business – managing mental health at work
Emma Mamo, Taking Care of Business Manager at Mind, explains why considering employee mental health is vital for businesses and the practical measures she uses to manage employee mental health at Mind.

Emma Mamo, Taking Care of Business Manager, Mind
21 March 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.

Professor Stephen Bevan
20 March 2013

Cancer and the new Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service
Returning to work can be a positive part of the recovery process for people with cancer, bringing with it physical, mental and social benefits.

Jenny Gulliford
19 March 2013

The future of mental health –from strategy to reality
What does recovery mean for people with mental health conditions? And how can we help overcome the barriers to recovery? This was the focus of the 'Mental Health: from strategy to reality' conference in Manchester last week.

Karen Steadman
19 March 2013

Working with schizophrenia: No one should be written off
People with schizophrenia tell us that they want to work and with the right support in place they can.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind
13 February 2013

Mental illness is not synonymous with unemployment: The Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill
Small changes can make the workplace a more supportive and accessible place for someone with a mental health condition - the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill is a positive step forward.

Karen Steadman
12 February 2013

Schizophrenia and work - we need better support for those who can, but also for those who can’t
Perhaps the biggest barrier of all facing people with schizophrenia trying to get into jobs is stigma. We need to see a fundamental shift in attitudes across society.

Paul Jenkins, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness
11 February 2013

You don't need to run a mile when someone with schizophrenia applies for a job
We can address the myths that surround psychosis and support employers to see such individuals as real people with real skills to help those living with schizophrenia into work.

Robert Elston, Chief Executive of Status Employment
11 February 2013

Right type of support is key for supporting people with cancer in the workplace
World Cancer Day aims to raise awareness about the reality of living with cancer. The perception that cancer is a death sentence still widely exists, however, thanks to early detection and better treatment, cancer has increasingly become a chronic illness. Changing the image of cancer and breaking down myths related to cancer are key factors in the success.

Dr Tyna Taskila
04 February 2013

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

Mental health and the Work Programme
With the dust beginning to settle after the Work Programme’s first statistical release, we now have a bit of breathing space in which to drill deeper into the figures, particularly those regarding disability and mental health.

Jenny Gulliford
30 November 2012

Businesses need support to help their employees with cancer get back to work
Recent improvements in the treatment and early diagnosis of cancer has resulted in an increasing number of survivors remaining in work.

Tyna Taskila
30 November 2012

Can you describe your symptoms? The blurred lines of mental and physical health
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.

Karen Steadman
29 November 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

How can we better support people living with schizophrenia to enter or return to the workplace?
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.

15 November 2012

Making the most of flexible working
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.

13 November 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

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

Work Capability Assessment is not suitable for people with mental health disorders
Rethink’s recent survey reveals GP’s perceptions of how the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) impacts on their patients. The results are saddening to read.

Dr Tyna Taskila
06 September 2012

We need to remove barriers to employment for young people with chronic and long-term health conditions
Figures released this week show that 1 in 6 young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET). What is less well known is that the chances of young people to enter employment may be further exacerbated by the early onset of chronic and long-term conditions.

Lisa O'Dea
24 August 2012

It’s time to tackle negative attitudes toward people with mental health conditions at work
The pharmacological treatment of many severe mental health conditions has improved dramatically over the last decade. As a result, increasing number of people with a history of mental health disorders live fulfilling lives.

Dr Tyna Taskila
23 July 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.

Steve 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

Learn to manage long-term conditions of your employees
The Work Foundation’s Summit today (15 May) invited over 90 occupational health and HR specialists to exchange their experiences of managing long-term conditions in the workplace.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
15 May 2012

Employee Support. Good Business Sense.
Today’s ( 15 May ) summit on Managing Long-Term Health Conditions in the Workplace held by the Work Foundation has gathered over 80 representatives from a range of forward-thinking UK organisations. The interactive event provided HR practitioners and those responsible for employee health and wellbeing with practical tips on supporting those with chronic disease in employment.

Dame Carol Black
15 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 Launch of Fit for Work Latvia
The Fit for Work project has launched today (28 March 2012) in Riga by Karlis Shadurskis, patron, and Member of European Parliament.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
28 March 2012

Fit for Work travels to Japan
Since 2007 the Work Foundation’s Fit for Work initiative has examined the impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on individuals, organisations and societies.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
22 March 2012

Managing Cancer in the Workplace
Over 700,000 people of working age in the UK are living with a cancer diagnosis and this is set to rise in the next twenty years as the number of people living with cancer doubles from two to four million.

Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support
06 December 2011

Staying in Work with a Long-term condition: The value of medical technologies
As the UK workforce ages and the burden of chronic diseases in the wider population grows it is clear that access to medical interventions which help people to stay in work will become more important – both economically and socially.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
15 November 2011

Launching 'Fit for Work' in Estonia
On Friday I was proud to launch the latest Fit for Work report at the X annual Forum of Reumaliit patient group in Estonia. The Reumafoorum heard on the importance of early intervention in reducing the impact of MSDs from a variety of renowned speakers

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
07 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

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

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

Ready to work
Work prospects of up to 100 000 people in the UK are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Thousands more stay out of the labour market to care for a relative with MS

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
21 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

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

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

Related News

Working Well
Special feature in which Dr Zofia Bajorek discusses the effects of long-term conditions on employment and the wider UK economy, and explores how employers, government and health services can help alleviate them.

Horizon 2020
20 July 2016

Employment support overhaul is vital, says new report

Disability News Service
02 June 2016

Call for more support for workers with long-term conditions

The RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health Journal March 2016
11 March 2016

Zofia Bajorek featured in HR Magazine on our latest report into LTCs
Zofia Bajorek's article "Long-term conditions don't have to mean worklessness" featured in HR Magazine

HR Magazine
15 February 2016

Britain being overwhelmed by long-term conditions, warns The Work Foundation
The rising tide of people with long-term conditions threatens to overwhelm Britain’s economy and the NHS, according to a new report published today by leading think tank, Lancaster University’s Work Foundation.

11 February 2016

Four ways to tackle substance abuse and encourage recovery at work
If you’ve worked in HR at a large company for long enough, it’s very likely you’ll have heard reports about employees with an alleged drink or drugs problem.

26 October 2015

More specialist nurses needed to improve work outcomes for people with IBD
A report released on Wednesday (21 January 2015), Working Well – Promoting job and career opportunities for those with IBD, will call for an increase in the number of specialist nurses given the crucial role they play in supporting those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) to stay in work.

21 January 2015

Concerns over handover as Atos pulls out of Work Capability Assessment contract
Jenny Gulliford, policy and research officer at The Work Foundation, comments on the early exit of Atos from Work Capability Assessment (WCA) contract.

Angelo Evangelou
27 March 2014

People with health conditions still poorly-served by the Work Programme
Kathryn Ray, senior researcher at The Work Foundation, comments on today's Work Programme statistics.

Angelo Evangelou
20 March 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.

04 February 2014

The Work Foundation welcomes the creation of the 'task and finish' group
Commenting on today’s announcement by Paul Burstow MP and Sane that a ‘task and finish’ group has been created to better support people with schizophrenia to enter and remain in work, Karen Steadman, researcher at The Work Foundation, said:

Karen Steadman
29 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

The Work Programme
Jenny Gulliford, research and policy officer at The Work Foundation, discusses what the latest statistical release on the Work Programme data (released on 27/6) actually tells us.

Jenny Gulliford
04 July 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).

Anna Kharbanda
27 June 2013

Banks are failing to lend to firms which will drive the recovery, new report shows
Banks are failing to lend to firms which will drive the recovery, new report shows.

Tom Phillips
07 June 2013

The Independent reports on our schizophrenia research
The Independent

The Independent
11 February 2013

Government must address severe discrimination and other barriers to employment for people living with schizophrenia
A new report on why employment rates for people with schizophrenia remain so low (8% compared to the national average of 71%) and how these can be overcome is published today (11 February) by The Work Foundation.

Anna Kharbanda
11 February 2013

Reaction to the Public Accounts Committee report on the Work Capability Assessment
Professor Stephen Bevan, director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation and Chair of the Fit for Work Coalition comments on The Public Accounts Committee report on the Work Capability Assessment.

Anna Kharbanda
08 February 2013

Poor clinical & workplace support for musculoskeletal disorders leaving hundreds of thousands facing lost income, job insecurity & early retirement
A new report published today (10 December 2012) by The Work Foundation warns that a lack of positive practice to support people with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in work is leaving hundreds of thousands at risk of lost earnings, reduced productive working time and early retirement, with an accompanying strain on both household incomes and the UK welfare system.

Tom Phillips
10 December 2012

NICE recommendations for NHS Framework represent false economy by shifting long-term burden onto DWP
Commenting on the recommendations for the NHS Commissioning Outcomes Framework published today (2 August), Professor Stephen Bevan of The Work Foundation said:

Professor Stephen Bevan
02 August 2012

The Sunday Times cites our research on how people with long-term conditions can be supported in the workplace
A special report in The Sunday Times cites our research on how people with long-term conditions can be supported in the workplace

The Sunday Times
18 July 2012

The Work Foundation's research on long-term conditions
Ksenia Zheltoukhova, researcher at the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation discusses our work on long-term conditions and its impact on society and the economy.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
11 January 2012