Commenting on the government’s consultation paper Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s published 22 July, Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD) calls for employers and the health and wellbeing industry to understand the government’s thinking and approach in this area, and respond to the paper. She said:

“The focus on prevention and improving levels of health, activity and interactivity is the only way to improve health and wellbeing. The group risk industry has already embarked on the journey with employers to improve health and wellbeing in the workplace, and we see the return in better outcomes in people’s lives. The most effective way to do this is to focus on early interventions – both for mental and physical health issues – and turn the focus to prevention and better health behaviours, and that is key to keeping people in the workplace.

“The government is paying a lot of attention to this area, for instance in the consultation paper issued just last week on 15 July ‘Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss’ looking at action employers can take in this area. And it’s important that everyone involved in supporting staff – employers, as well as those working in the health and wellbeing industry – has a full understanding of what the government is proposing. This is an opportunity to respond to the consultation paper and shape recommendations.

“There is no doubt that supporting the health and wellbeing of staff, and, in particular, mental wellbeing, has moved up a notch on the workplace agenda. Employers looking for help in how to do this will find a lot of the answers can be found in group risk protection products. The inherent support services that come with them, such as fast-track access to support for musculoskeletal issues, mental health issues, serious illness, etc, significantly extend the reach of the help employers can give to their people, often to enable them to help themselves.”

Responses to the consultation paper need to be submitted by 14 October 2019.