Commenting on the Spring Budget, David Williams, head of group risk at Towergate Health & Protection, says:

“The Spring Budget feels like a missed opportunity for the Government to recognise the enormous power of employee benefits in both reducing sickness and helping to improve the UK economy – both of which are key focus areas for the Government.

“The investment in the NHS to modernise IT equipment and improve their efficiency is welcome, but that was the only real nod towards support in the healthcare space.  The Autumn Budget in November 2023 teased us with the “Back to Work” plan to support sick or disabled adults back into work along with a launch of the occupational health consultation. But today’s budget hasn’t built on this and that’s a missed opportunity.

“There was opportunity to expand to a wider view of employer-led interventions which go far beyond occupational health services.  Employers with well-structured wellbeing programmes see reduced absence rates – often preventing absence from occurring in the first place – and more productive workforces.  It would have been great to see measures announced in the Spring Budget which encouraged or incentivised businesses to support their employees in these areas.  By building on their “Back to Work” plan in this way the Government could have taken great strides to reduce the UK sickness rates and boost the economic activity at the same time.”