Working for a Healthier Tomorrow

Dame Carol Black's Review of the Health of Britain's Working Age Population

Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions – Dame Carol Black
TSO (The Stationery Office)
Price: £25.75

Around 175 million working days were lost to illness in 2006. Some seven per cent of the working population is workless and receiving benefits because of long-term health conditions or disabilities. This represents a significant cost to the economy – in cost of benefits, healthcare, forgone taxes, lost production, sickness absence, informal care – estimated at between £103 and £129 billion. The review's vision for health and work in Britain is based on three principal objectives:

  • prevention of illness and promotion of health and well-being;

  • early intervention for those who develop a health condition; and

  • an improvement in the health of those out of work.

The review establishes the first baseline for the health of the working population. It then examines the role of the workplace in health and well-being. Employers, trade unions, employees, safety and health practitioners should all promote the benefits of investment in health and well-being. The review calls of a fundamental shift in the perception of fitness for work, to move away from it being inappropriate to be at work if not 100 per cent fit. Early intervention can prevent short-tem sickness becoming more serious and pilot trials of a new Fit for Work service are proposed.

More health support for workless people on incapacity benefits is recommended. Professional expertise for working age health is needed and occupational health should be in the mainstream of healthcare provision. To safeguard the future health of the working population, young people should understand the benefits of a life in work. The review closes with proposals for taking the agenda forward.

Extent 125 pages ISBN 9780117025134
Size A4 Price £25.75
Format Paperback Published 17 Mar 2008
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