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FOM and SOM welcome new report into 'good work'

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine and the Society of Occupational Medicine have welcomed the publication of ‘Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’. The report presents the findings of a six-month review, commissioned by the Government in October 2016 and led by RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor.

As well as providing an overview of recent changes in the labour market and proposing a range of regulatory reforms, The Taylor Review makes several recommendations relating to health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Taylor argues that “quality work is strongly linked to better health outcomes for individuals”, adding that “good work not only enables people to support themselves and their families financially but with the right kind of support, from employers and others, work has a positive impact on health and well-being”. He concludes that “the shape and content of work and individual health and well-being are strongly related. For the benefit for firms, workers and the public interest we need to develop a more proactive approach to workplace health”.

Developing this theme, ‘Good Work’ finds that there is a lack of emphasis on supporting people to remain in and return to the workplace. He calls for greater efforts to publicise existing Government initiatives such as Access to Work and the Fit for Work service and for more “effective joined up working between various agencies”, with a particular emphasis on the role of local authorities and new devolved institutions.

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine and the Society of Occupational Medicine are supportive of the proposed review of Statutory Sick Pay and welcome the recognition that “employers should do more to support those able to return to work to do so, above and beyond any legal requirements to make reasonable adjustments. What is more, those who are sick should not see their job lost or long-term career damaged”.

Commenting on the report, Chief Executive of the Society of Occupational Medicine, Nick Pahl, said that:

“It is pleasing to see the Taylor Review recognise the importance of workplace health. It is our belief that investing in occupational health in the workplace is essential if we want to improve the health of the UK population. Having access to occupational health professionals isn’t just good for individuals and businesses; it is good for us as a society.”

Judith Willetts, Chief Executive of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine added:

“Occupational health is uniquely placed amongst medical specialties to enhance the productivity of the nation whilst keeping workers healthy and safe. We recognise the need for a more coordinated approach and occupational health professionals are ideally placed to ‘join-up’ service access and advice between individuals, their health care professionals and their employers.”