Research shows that good health is good for business and better workplaces have better financial results.
It is widely recognised that being employed can help improve a person's health and wellbeing and help reduce health inequalities (Department for Work and Pensions 2005a; DH 2004; Health, Work and Wellbeing Programme 2008; Waddell and Burton 2006).
There is a strong evidence base showing that work is generally good for physical and mental health and well-being. Worklessness is associated with poorer physical and mental health and well-being. Work can be therapeutic and can reverse the adverse health effects of unemployment. That is true for healthy people of working age, for many disabled people, for most people with common health problems and for social security beneficiaries. The provisos are that account must be taken of the nature and quality of work and its social context; jobs should be safe and accommodating. Overall, the beneficial effects of work outweigh the risks of work, and are greater than the harmful effects of long-term unemployment or prolonged sickness absence. Work is generally good for health and well-being.
Research shows that the longer people are off sick, the less likely they are to make a successful return to work. After six months absence from work, there is only a 50 per cent chance of someone making a successful return. This is because the longer a person refrains from their normal activities the greater the likelihood they will become deconditioned. Plus other problems can develop associated with isolation and confidence for example, whereas returning to work can restore some normality, routine, stability and social contact.
Put simply, work is generally good for health and wellbeing and remaining in or returning to work can actually help to promote recovery and lead to better health outcomes. Furthermore, returning to work can restore some normality, routine, stability and social contact.
When people have been off sick long term their level of physical and mental stamina is unlikely to be as it was prior to their absence, but they can only build up that stamina by gradually returning to work, it is for that reason a phased return to work is often recommended. The purpose of this approach, i.e. a gradual build-up of hours and duties, is to return the employee to work safely without risking relapse.
AWL OH can assess the individual, review the working environment and tasks, and provide recommendations on return to work.
AWL OH can advise on managing frequent short term absence as well as long term absence and return to work.
Our philosophy when it comes to OH referral in relation to sickness absence is that it is vital to undertake a holistic assessment to identify any other factors that may exacerbate the presenting problem and advise the individual on how best to improve their general health and well-being, to identify any limiting beliefs or barriers for returning to work, as well as advise the employer regarding the effect on work and any recommendations to effectively support their employee.
If you would like details of how we may be able to help you, including costs, then please do contact us.