Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

REC responds to measures to increase employer uptake and widen reach of occupational health

Responding to the government’s new plans to boost health in the workplace, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s Deputy Chief Executive Kate Shoesmith said:

“We support this kind of fresh thinking to keep workers healthier, happier and keener to stay in work, given our latest data shows we have more than two million job vacancies and a record number of working days lost because of sickness or injury in 2022.

“For today’s announcement to achieve game-changer status, governments must address wider workforce healthcare issues, such as long NHS waiting lists, shortages of healthcare staff because of a lack of flexible work, strikes over pay, lack of investment in our care system and the impact of long-covid. Unnecessary curbs on agency staffing do not help address any of these factors.

“The government said it is investing billions in getting people back to work and growing the economy – and our sector is here to help with that. We’re experts in building and responding to dynamic labour markets, but we need a proper industrial and workforce strategy to overcome existing labour shortages and boost productivity. Otherwise, we risk losing the battle for long-term sustainable economic growth powered by a healthy and well-equipped labour market.”