Will Brexit affect the health and wellbeing of the UK workforce?

Posted on Posted in HCB News, Opinion

Well, everyone else is going to put out their take on what the Brexit vote means so we at HCB thought we would add some thoughts of our own.

You can catch up in the mainstream media and online about what Brexit will mean for politics, the economy and currency.  What we at Health Claims Bureau Care are qualified to comment on is managing health in the workplace, and it is possible that Brexit will have a serious impact on the long-term health of some people in the workplace.

The main determinants of health and illness depend more on lifestyle, the socio-cultural environment and psychological factors than they do on objective biological status (conventional illness and injury). So taking into account the political uncertainties, the uncertain trading environment, the potential cost of living rises, add in the effects of fundamental changes in the geopolitical picture and the continuing threat of fundamentalist terror and you have a scenario of a very stressed out workforce.  Then hone this down to the personal level; austerity leading to financial stress, looming stresses on the NHS, lack of co-ordinated social care and the employment and housing stresses on other members of the family and we have – in Hollywood terms – The Perfect Storm.

Research conducted by Professor Sir Mansel Aylward CB MD FRCP FFOM FFPM in his capacity as Director for Psychosocial and Disability Research, School of Medicine, Cardiff University has ranked the negative influences on return to work:

Principal barriers % Rank
Psychological/cognitive 38 1
Workplace 32 2
Social 11 3
Economic 9 4
Symptom Perception (pain, fatigue, etc.) 7 5
Impairment 3 6

Only 3% of employees absent from work for any length of time are absent because they are actually ill or disabled, although we must stress that the 7% identified about really experience genuine pain. Moreover, MetLife conducted some research in which 4 out of 10 employees said they had seriously considered resigning because of the stress in their job in the previous 12 months. So yet again we see that the main cause of absence is stress and the potential impact of Brexit may mean this will only got worse.

HCB’s research clearly shows that for every £1 you spend on individual case management you will gain £4 in terms of salary costs, the subjective costs just can’t be measured.

We don’t want to capitalise on the chaos but we do want to remind everyone that it will be vital to keep your employees fit to enable them take on the forthcoming challenges. There will be a smaller pool of educated and trained people to call on, so to paraphrase the old adage  “employ new staff but keep the old, for some are like silver the latter like gold”.

About Health Claims Bureau

We provide sound Employee Case Management. Nurse-lead help, support and advice to HR, Line Manager and to the employee themselves. Our nurses sort out what the barriers are to returning to work; sickness, injury or social issues. They put a plan together using all sorts of clever psychological and motivational tools and then they look at the practicalities of making that plan work. And of course we do all if this whilst linking all of the employee benefits available. This makes our service so cost effective, every £1 spent saves £4. It’s easy, useful and loved and valued by our clients. To help someone back into their workplace, or to exit it with dignity, is really rewarding.  Health Claims Bureau delivers ethically tailored health management services to meet everyone’s needs

 

Sources:

The Huffington Post: Managing Uncertainty in the Workplace: A Potential Brexit Is Not the Only Change Employees Face

The Mirror: One in four employees suffer from stress in the workplace, new study shows