The Local Government Chronicle has published a recent article on occupational health spend falling amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The data collated and compiled was from 128 local UK councils and was provided to the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) via the freedom of information request act. This data reveals that several local councils’ total spend on their workforce’s occupational health and employee wellbeing fell from £16m to £14.8m between 2019-20 and 2020-21. That’s an overall drop of 8%.
The figures that have been shared with the Local Government Chronicle show 68 councils have cut spending on their workforce’s occupational health and employee wellbeing. On the flip slip, 50 councils have increased their spending, and 10 maintained the same expenditure level.
The spend covers a wide range of occupational health areas such as staff returning to work (not only after the pandemic but also after general illness or injury), a range of mental health support as well as workplace adjustments.
UKIM OH Partnership Director, Alan Ballard comments, “It’s staggering to see cuts like this happening. Not only in councils but within the whole of the UK workforce. Keeping staff supported, healthy and motivated is imperative to a successful workforce. Spending cuts like these will have a detrimental effect on the workforce and, in turn, the business involved.”
Nick Pahl, Chief Executive of the SOM, also commented “Occupational health issues including Covid risk assessment and controls – as well as supporting people who are shielding, working from home, or returning to work after long Covid – were absolutely critical to keep councils functioning during the pandemic.”
At UKIM, we are totally committed to delivering the highest commercial, operational and clinical delivery standards across the UK for all of our Occupational Health & Employee Wellbeing customers.
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