New guide promotes good health at work

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Acas is urging businesses to save money and reduce absenteeism by focusing on ensuring employees are healthy at work. The employment relations service has launched a new guide to help businesses promote and manage a healthy workplace.

The launch of the new guide coincides with findings from a radical review of the health of the working age population released by national director for health and work, Dame Carol Black.

The review revealed that ill health costs the British economy £100 billion. It also highlighted that businesses should seek to take early intervention by investing in improving the health and wellbeing of their staff, identify measures that will reduce ill-health and help staff to remain in work or quickly return to work after a period of absence.

Available online at www.acas.org.uk ‘Health, work and wellbeing in the workplace’ offers valuable and free advice to businesses, HR and training managers, and employees.

Some of the key areas covered in the new Acas guide include:
•How to recognise health problems with your employees
•What makes a healthy workplace
•A health, work and wellbeing checklist
•Further sources of expert information on health, work and wellbeing

Ed Sweeney, Acas Chair commented: "The review by Dame Carol Black shows that creating a healthy workplace has strong benefits for individuals and organisations. It also places a lot emphasis on the role early intervention can play in reducing the problem of ill health at work – this ties in strongly with Acas’ ‘prevention over cure’ approach to dealing with wider employment issues.

"Work can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing which in turn can boost productivity and effectiveness of a business. Our guide can help businesses to develop good workplace relationships so that managers are fully trained in people skills and employees are valued and content."

Key indicators of a healthy workplace:
•Line managers are confident and trained in people skills
•Employees feel valued and involved in the organisation
•Managers use appropriate health services (e.g. occupational health) to tackle absence and help get people back to work
•Managers promote an attendance culture by conducting return to work discussions
•Jobs are flexible and well-designed

To see how we covered news of Dame Carol Black's review go to: www.trainingzone.co.uk/item/180979

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