Commenting on the budget results and the Chancellor’s proposal to bring people from long term sick back into work, Dave Capper, CEO at Westfield Health said:
“Keeping the mind, body and brain active when your mental or physical health has taken a hit can be a very effective way to ease recovery – as long as it’s done in a safe way. If those who are experiencing long-term sickness or disability are encouraged back into the workforce, we should be mindful that it’s done carefully to prioritise their wellbeing. For those able to work, having a meaningful contribution within their job is good for morale and health.
“Fulfilling work is a key part of mental wellbeing, so being able to return to work could potentially be a real plus. But for that to happen, individual health needs to be right, business culture needs to be right and support at a national level needs to be right. Flexibility is key to help people return to work sustainably. It shouldn’t be an all or nothing approach for those who are coming back into work, they need to be supported to help them flex their day to match their energy. It’s important to set realistic expectations to avoid adding further pressure.
“The £400m funding to increase availability of mental health and muscoskeletal resources for workers will help support those struggling, but businesses now have a role to play when it comes to looking after their people’s wellbeing. They can’t afford not to. This means offering them the flexibility to work in a way that supports their health in the long term.”
Commenting on the childcare bill, Dave Capper, CEO at Westfield Health, said: “Expecting people to work while dealing with childcare problems is both counterproductive and unrealistic. Workers need to have time to deal with both the practical responsibilities and mental load of childcare.
“Protecting that time is vital, and it’s disappointing we still need legislation to guarantee a more compassionate, adult-to-adult approach in the workplace.
“There’s an opportunity and a responsibility for businesses to change their mindset. We’ve got to stop thinking about work in isolation. What happens at home affects work and vice versa. Responsible employers don’t ignore that – they acknowledge it and allow for it.
“It shouldn’t take legislation. Fostering the right culture with HR policies that allow for the realities of life would give all employees the freedom to take the time they need and get the support they need, whatever issue they’re facing.
“This doesn’t just benefit employees. A work environment that reflects life’s realities and supports team members will lead to greater engagement, productivity and retention.”
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