Health and Wellbeing

Supporting individuals and employers to benefit the wider economy.

The Work Foundation has long advocated for improving working age health, not only as a benefit for the individual but to society, business productivity and the wider economy.

The loss of people from the labour market due to poor health has a considerable negative impact; presenting challenges for individuals and their families, for employers, for public services, and for government(s). The already high levels of exclusion for people with long-term health conditions will likely be exacerbated by the pressures of our aging society. We argue that this is largely preventable. By providing the right type of support, more people with chronic health conditions can be helped to remain in employment, return to work, and be happy and productive in their jobs.

The nature of the work available is often crucial, and we strongly believe that creating more ‘good jobs’ – jobs which promote good health, are fulfilling, and productive – is the foundation of a successful, inclusive and sustainable economy.


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Health at work policy unit

Client: Napp Pharmaceutical Group

The Health at Work Policy Unit (HWPU) provides evidence-based policy recommendations and commentary on contemporary issues around health, wellbeing and work. It draws on The Work Foundation’s substantial expertise in workforce health, its reputation in the health and wellbeing arena and its relationships with policy makers. 

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Ready for work

Clients: Novartis International AG (founding and lead supporter) and Merck (co-supporter)

Currently in Europe there is an estimated 700,000 people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), 70% of them diagnosed during their prime working years. However, many people with MS find themselves outside of the labour market, despite being able and willing to continue working.

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Staff engagement and wellbeing in the NHS

Clients: The Health Foundation

The Work Foundation is conducting research to help establish a ‘hard business case’ for the development of employee engagement interventions in the NHS with the hypothesis that improving staff engagement will lead to improved patient outcomes and improved productivity and performance in the health service.

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Reviewing the effectiveness of employee assistance programmes

Clients: EAPA

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are among the most commonly used wellbeing interventions in the UK. Given the large potential ‘reach’ of this kind of intervention, and the possible impact on employee wellbeing, The Work Foundation is conducting research to understand the ‘state of the market’ for the use and effectiveness of EAPs in the UK.

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Evaluating the Public Health England and Business in the Community employer toolkits

Improving employers’ awareness, understanding and knowledge of employee health and wellbeing issues.

Embedding work and related outcomes into social prescribing

A report investigating whether changing policy emphasis has influenced social prescribing in practice.

Workplace health interventions and accreditation schemes

A rapid evidence review and global mapping exercise.

Migraine's impact on employment in Europe

What can be done to improve work outcomes for people with migraines?

Managing migraine - a women's health issue?

Exploring some of the policy options that are available to government.

Who cares? The implications of informal care and work for policymakers and employers

This paper outlines some of the implications associated with the growing number of informal carers in the UK.

Men's mental health and work: The case for a gendered approach to policy

A paper assessing the changes to men’s role in the labour market and the implications for their health.

Could a bad Brexit deal reduce workers' rights across Europe?

Estimating the risks of a ‘race to the bottom’