Ill-health in the working-age population has been estimated to cost the British economy £100 billion a year in lost productivity, lost tax and increased health and welfare costs.
The Scottish Government's Health Works strategy, aims to minimise health as a barrier to work, improve recognition of the benefits to health of work and encourage employers to realise the benefits of promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace:
The Scottish Government is committed to improving the health of Scotland's people. The health of the working age population is key to the wellbeing of both individuals and communities, and to the future economic success of Scotland.
Attitudes to health and work
Drawing on the clear and growing evidence base for this the Scottish Government launched the Health Works strategy in November 2009. A May 2013 review of the Health Works strategy reports on progress:
The Health Works approach is to ensure that health is not a barrier to work for as many people as possible so that they can contribute to and share in the economic prosperity of Scotland. It sets out why we want to change attitudes to health and work amongst employers, workers and healthcare professions, and the actions that we will undertake to achieve this.
Health Works sets out 25 actions that aim to encourage employers to be more proactive in supporting the health and wellbeing of workers, recognising the benefit this can bring to increased productivity and reduced sickness absence.
In addition a Scottish Offer which outlines seven key principles based on person-centred and effective healthcare in relation to health and work has been developed: