1 Executive Summary
Health and Work are inextricable, with good work being a key determinant of good health, and good health being essential to productive work.
Scotland's record in relation to health and work is a good one and is something we can be proud of. For too many people, however, the relationship between their health and work is not a positive one, with health related 'presenteeism,' absence and workless-ness contributing to Scotland's persistent health and social inequality. It also presents a significant drag on the Scottish economy and national finances, especially in light of the new Fiscal Framework.
Moreover, there are a number of new and emergent risks to health and work that require an urgent response, and result from changes in:
- The economic environment.
- The nature of work.
- The nature of the workforce.
This Review considers these emergent risks and the approach that needs to be taken to health and work in Scotland. In doing so it sets out four policy themes underpinned by a series of health and work principles.
It makes the case for increased effort and investment in health and work, by government as well as employers and other stakeholders, and sets out a range of recommendations for actions that could be taken forward. Twenty-three recommendations are summarised in the following section and are detailed in sections eight to eleven of the report. Five of the recommendations – highlighted in bold text in the summary – have been proposed by stakeholders as issues to be considered as a matter of priority.
The benefits realised from a positive relationship between health and work will be felt by government, employers and individuals alike, and its achievement will require the commitment and concerted efforts of all three sets of stakeholders.
This report seeks to provide a call to action to make Fair and Health Work in Scotland a reality for all.