NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) have just released for final consultation, guidance on quality standards to support healthy workplaces to improve employee health.
NICE uses expert stakeholders to identify well evidenced best practice of cost effective care. They have just released for final consultation draft guidance on quality standards to support healthy workplaces to improve employee health. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/GID-QS10014/documents/draft-quality-standard
This represents practical guidance for employers to support their employees, and highlights that During 2014/15: 1
- 1.2 million people had a work-related illness and, along with workplace injuries, this led to the loss of an estimated 27.3 million working days (Health and Safety Statistics Annual report for Great Britain 2014/15 Health and Safety Executive).
- Musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 44% of work-related illnesses, resulting in the loss of 9.5 million working days. (Health and Safety Statistics Annual report for Great Britain 2014/15 Health and Safety Executive)
- Stress accounted for 35% of work-related illnesses and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health. This led to the loss of 9.9 million working days (an average of 23 days lost per incident)
- Poor leadership is flagged as a major cause of employee ill health and the document refers to the work underway in the NHS to develop improved employee health and wellbeing.
The quality standards NICE are a concise set of prioritised statements designed to drive measurable improvements in the 3 dimensions of quality – safety, experience and effectiveness of care – for a particular area of health or care. They recommend:
- Employers have a named senior manager who is responsible for making employee health and wellbeing a core priority.
- Line managers’ job descriptions and performance indicators include supporting employee health and wellbeing. Statement
- Line managers are trained to recognise when employees are experiencing stress and respond to their needs. Statement
- Employers give employees the opportunity to contribute to decision making through staff engagement forums.
NICE highlights the importance of these measures in improving sickness absence rates and recommends the use of local measures compared with national benchmarks. This reinforces the value of accurate data to understand employee absence. Many systems for recording absence do not contain accurate data and few accurately identify the costs associated with poor sickness absence. This risks the equivalent of trying to pilot an aircraft with an inaccurate altimeter – the consequences can be dire!
It’s an old adage in business that if you measure something it gets done – so it’s surprising that more employers do not consider accurate attendance data as crucial to running a good business.