Occupational Health - UK - June 2015
“Many businesses still view occupational health as an uncertain investment in improving business performance, but the case for investing in OH has never been greater. Absenteeism costs the UK economy up to £31 billion a year, with the average UK worker taking an estimated 4.5 days off sick annually according to LFS data.”
– Lewis Cone, B2B Analyst
This report will explore the following key questions with regard to occupational health in the UK:
- What are the key determinants driving the occupational health industry?
- Was the industry affected by the financial crisis and the slow recovery? If so, how has it developed and changed since?
- How have government schemes influenced market demand and supply?
- How has the provision of occupational health services changed over recent times?
- What are the key issues that the industry needs to address to expand its service?
- What does the future hold for occupational health services?
The higher amount of people in work coincided with the launch of the Fit for Work service nationally back in May, which aims to reduce the burden of sickness absence from the workplace and spending on health-related benefit claims. The service will provide another means of increasing company awareness of available occupational health initiatives and schemes, alongside the growing emergence of studies that show it can reduce companies’ financial costs.
However, with SMEs accounting for a large majority of businesses in the UK, the four-week component of the FfW service could present an entry barrier as they are more likely to need greater support to withstand that length of absence. Employees will also play a role in the development of the market as they must make their employers aware of potential health issues that could be helped by specific OH services, rather than employer-perceived OH services considered most effective.
This report covers the UK occupational health market. Occupational health is defined as healthcare provision provided in the workplace, and includes both specific health and safety care and broader issues of health, fitness and preventative health care, often referred to as wellness. There remains much debate and confusion over the precise definition of what constitutes occupational healthcare, and the boundaries of the sector remain vague.
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