Category Archives: Latest News

Consultation launched on adult social care workforce

A consultation which will focus on the adult social care workforce has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in partnership with Skills for Care.

Those with an interest in social care are encouraged to share their views on what could be done to address a number of challenges facing the adult social care workforce.

To take part in the consultation visit: https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/social-care-workforce/facing-the-facts-shaping-the-future-adult-socia/

 

OIympics learning legacy research demonstrates benefits of good health and safety

Research Partners Claire Tyers has been involved in 2 projects jointly for the ODA and HSE, and a further one for the ODA. All of these show the fantastic results that can be achieved with management commitment to health and safety. The construction of the Olympic Park and Village have resulted in a very safe road to the games, the first to experience no fatalities during the build.

The health and safety and construction press have picked up the main messages from these reports. Their response to the most recent report, which presents a cost benefit assessment of the work of the occupational hygiene team in supporting contractors with occupational health, can be seen in the following links:

Workplace Law Network
Safety & Health Practitioner
Health & Safety at Work
First Response Training
HR Review
NatWest Mentor
Innov8
Facilities Management Journal

 

SMEs count the cost of absence

Workplace absence costs SMEs 10 per cent of turnover, according to Bupa. Their work suggests a significant proportion of the UK’s small business bosses are also personally risking their health as they battle their own absence to keep businesses afloat. Four in ten heads of small companies continue to work from their sick beds, as their business would collapse if they were to take time off. This article was quoted in Rehab Review, see more at their website.

From our own work with SMEs, we at Research Partners know that when sickness absence does affect an SME the consequences can be extremely difficult to deal with. However, more needs to be done to help SMEs have the processes and systems in place that they need to be prepared for such events. Also more work is needed to convince SMEs to invest in preventative occupational health. Simple work adjustments can be made to reduce the negative effects of work on health and vice versa.

Controversial changes to unfair dismissal procedures

The Government has confirmed two key employment law changes, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will increase from one year to two and a fee system will be introduced for employees who bring tribunal claims.

Already, these potential changes have caused a great deal of controversy, with unions predicting an erosion of employment rights, whilst some business leaders claiming it will boost confidence in making new recruitments in difficult times and lead to greater economic growth.

Find out more at on the HR review website.

Stress is no. 1 cause of long-term absence

For the first time, stress has been identified as the most common cause of long-term sickness absence. This is according to a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey. Public sector respondents identified organisational change and restructuring as the number one cause of stress at work.

To find out more use this link: CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey. 

Construction industry body keen to improve occupational health

Claire Tyers of Research Partners presented the results of her research into the Occupational Health (OH) provision on the Olympic Park construction project to a HSE facilitated group this week.

The CONIAC working group, composed of union, industry and professional representatives as well as OH and Occupational Hygiene professionals, were interested in the results which will feed into their ongoing work to improve OH standards in construction.

New Disability Standard launched

The Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD) has launched its new Disability Standard. this is an online management tool and benchmark which business can use to measure and improve their performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, employees and stakeholders.

Use this link to access further details on EFD’s own web-site.

Employers struggle with interpretation of fit note

According to research by XpertHR, employers remain sceptical about how proactive GPs are being in using the fit note to encourage employees to return to work quicker. They found that more than 85% of employers believe that GPs are not good at communicating what employers need to do to help workers back into work, despite the introduction of the fit note last year.

 

Unions will fight safety cuts

Delegates at TUC’s Congress last week unanimously supported a motion moved by construction union UCATT critical of the government’s decision to lop 35 per cent off HSE’s budget by 2015. The annual TUC conference was told longstanding financial pressures mean HSE’s enforcement activities have already fallen to an all-time low. UCATT’s press release provides more details.