Skip navigation
ADPH seal logo

What we say about… Living and working well

Position statements · Work and health | June 26, 2023

Our key messages

  • Work is an important determinant of our health and wellbeing – a healthy and happy workforce has co-benefits for workplaces, productivity, the economy, and the wider community.


  • Employers have a role in the wider community to create conditions that improve employees’ health and mental wellbeing.


  • All people should be able to overcome barriers that reduce access to equal opportunities and everyone should be supported to stay in work if they want to do so.


  • Employers should be supported to enable people with health conditions to stay in work through improvement to the quality and design of work and developing inclusive and diverse cultures.

Our national recommendations

  • Governments across the four nations should take a whole system approach to work and health, adopt a health in all policies approach to decision-making and make greater strides towards a wellbeing economy.


  • Businesses should create conditions that focus on prevention and improve employees’ health and mental well-being, adhere to the NICE Quality Standard 147 and NICE Guideline 13 and sign up to a healthy workforce pledge.


  • The NHS should ensure that prevention forms a key, mandatory and funded part of all Integrated Care System plans to ensure a healthy working population in the future.


  • Employers, especially small businesses, should be supported and encouraged to provide in work support services like occupational health (OH) services and employee assist programmes.


  • Employers should be supported and encouraged to provide staff training on developing healthier environments and on particular issues such as mental health and musculoskeletal conditions.


  • Employers should be supported to embed effective sickness absence management as a key tool to support people when they are off sick, ensure they come back to work, and then do not drop out again.


  • Governments across the four nations should demonstrate leadership in equality and diversity in the workplace by setting an example and establishing clear standards and guidelines.

Our local recommendations

  • An analysis of local employment (eg supply, quality, sickness absence, fit notes) should be a part of local needs assessment processes in all four nations to enable timely response to employees’ needs.


  • Local areas and businesses should be encouraged to adopt a healthy workforce and wellbeing charter, including supporting good mental health.


  • Local areas should consider applying the ethos of Making Every Contact Count to work and health, so that brief conversations about workplace health are implemented by healthcare professionals.


  • Healthcare professionals should be provided with training that enables them to better understand the symbiotic relationship between work and health and how they can support both aspects of a patients’ life.


  • Everyone should have access to advice on the existing range of employment support offered in their local area so that they can share this information with individuals and promote work as a key determinant of health.
Download our living and working well position statement in full
Back to top