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Occupational Health: Working Better Consultation

The Government is seeking views on proposals aimed at increasing use of Occupational Health Services by UK employers.

Westminster building for UK's Government


The Government is consulting on the case for further support through tax incentives to encourage employers to provide access to Occupational Health Services for their employees. The “Occupational Health: Working Better” consultation focuses on the role of the Government, OH providers and employers, in increasing OH coverage across the UK, within the broader context of enabling better workplace support to improve productivity and prevent ill-health related job loss.


The number of people who are economically inactive due to long-term sickness stands at 2.6 million.


Occupational health (OH) can help employers effectively manage their employees’ health and wellbeing. This, in turn, can lead to the improvement of work performance and productivity, reduced costs associated with absenteeism and presenteeism, as well as better staff retention. Also, OH has the potential to reduce pressures on the NHS and support a reduction in economic inactivity as a result of health conditions. While access to expert led OH services can provide benefits for both employers and employees, OH is still not being utilised to its full potential and the provision across the UK is inconsistent.


Only 45% of employees in Great Britain have access to OH services, which is significantly lower than some international comparators.

- Employee research Phase 1: Sickness absence, reasonable adjustments and Occupational Health



The consultation will explore:

  • the introduction of a national ‘health at work’ standard to help provide a baseline for quality OH provision including guidance, the option of pursuing accreditation and additional government-funded support services as well as employer best practice sharing (Chapter 1)

  • best practice from other countries and other UK-based employer models that enable employers to provide support for their employees (set out in Chapter 2)

  • developing work and health workforce capacity through new service models, building the skills mix and diversity of the current workforce and partnering with the private sector to develop a long term sustainable multidisciplinary OH workforce (set out in Chapter 3)


The consultation is open for responses until 23rd October 2023, which should be sent via the SmartSurvey or to OHtax@hmtreasury.gov.uk.

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