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Introducing WorkWell: A £64 million initiative to support workplace health and well-being

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The UK government has announced a new initiative aimed at helping people with health conditions stay in or return to work.

The WorkWell pilot scheme, launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), will provide tailored support to individuals across 15 areas of England, connecting them with local services that can help them with their health and employment needs.

From October, the WorkWell pilots will offer individuals access to a range of local support services, including physiotherapy and counselling. The pilots are connected to the Prime Minister’s recent comments about reviewing the sick note system and getting more people back to work.

Integrated work and health services

A key feature of the WorkWell scheme is its integration of work and health support services at a local level. Participants will receive personalised assistance from a Work and Health Coach, who will help them understand their health barriers to work and develop customised plans to overcome them.

It is hoped that this approach will lead to individuals remaining in or returning to work sooner, thereby improving their well-being and financial stability.

Voluntary participation

WorkWell is open to anyone with a health condition or disability, including mental health conditions, who is interested in working.

Participation in the scheme is voluntary, with individuals able to self-refer or be referred through their GP, employer, or community sector.

Work and Health Coaches will offer guidance on workplace adjustments, facilitate discussions with employers, and provide access to local services such as physiotherapy and employment advice.

Benefits for Businesses

Businesses stand to benefit from the introduction of the WorkWell scheme.

-Reduce absenteeism: By participating in WorkWell, employees with health conditions can receive the support they need to remain productive and engaged in the workplace. This can contribute to a healthier and happier workforce, reducing absenteeism and promoting employee retention.

-Enhanced productivity: Addressing health barriers to work through the WorkWell scheme can lead to improved productivity among employees. By facilitating early intervention and tailored support, businesses can ensure that their workforce remains capable and motivated to perform at their best.

Looking Ahead

The WorkWell scheme represents a significant step towards integrating work and health support services to benefit individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole. By empowering individuals to overcome health-related barriers to work, the scheme aims to foster a healthier workforce and a stronger economy.

Businesses located in the 15 pilot areas, including Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, and Cornwall, are encouraged to explore the opportunities offered by WorkWell and consider how they can support their employees' health and well-being.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-64-million-plan-to-help-people-stay-in-work

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