At All Health Matters, we are thrilled to hear about the recent Budget announcement recognising the importance of occupational health (OH) services in supporting employees with health issues in the workplace. As a leading provider of occupational health services in Kent and London, we understand the importance of providing specialised support and guidance to those at risk of dropping out of work due to ongoing health issues.
OH professionals are specialists in workplace health and work to prevent and manage work-related injuries and illnesses by identifying and controlling workplace hazards, promoting healthy work environments, and providing specialised health services to businesses. OH services can help people affected by health issues stay in employment, offering advice and support to employers and employees about how to manage ongoing conditions in the workplace.
Employment in good quality jobs can provide individuals with a sense of purpose, financial stability, social connections, and a sense of identity, which can have positive effects on their mental and physical well-being.
On the other hand, unemployment or underemployment can have negative effects on health. It can lead to stress, financial insecurity, social isolation, and a lack of purpose, all of which can contribute to poor mental and physical health outcomes, so helping people stay in work where possible is crucial for health and wellbeing.
Small businesses are five times less likely to offer access to OH services than larger businesses, leaving more than half of all UK employees without OH support. The news that small businesses in particular will get financial help to access OH services is, therefore, particularly welcome.
The Commercial Occupational Health Providers Association (COHPA) has launched an Introduction to Occupational Health for SMEs to help employers steer in the right direction. Building on the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM)'s document Mental Health Support for Small Business Owners and Team Leaders, which it produced with the Federation of Small Business, this initiative aims to help small businesses understand the benefits of investing in OH services.
At All Health Matters, we believe that access to occupational health services is essential for improving the health and wellbeing of employees, reducing economic inactivity, and supporting businesses in achieving their goals. As specialist OH providers, we are ready to deliver the high quality services that businesses need to support their employees' health.