Business for Health, a business-led coalition working with major employers such as Legal and General and AXA Health, has announced it has been awarded the NIHR Work and Health Development Award. This recognition is the result of a collaborative effort involving a consortium of 15 organisations committed to advancing workplace health and marks a crucial milestone in its mission to reboot the nation’s health through the workplace. 

The NIHR award, funded by the Department of Health & Social Care, will facilitate access to data and data linkage, allowing BFH to develop viable plans for significant research in critical areas that affect the nation’s health.

Lord James Bethell, Board Member of Business for Health, former innovation minister and board member, says:

This recognition from NIHR reinforces our commitment to support and encourage businesses to promote health within their workforce. Our core belief is that businesses can have a more productive workforce by prioritising employee health, which is especially critical as we continue to face the cost-of-living crisis, a growing skills shortage, and the ongoing effects of the pandemic on our healthcare system and in our workplaces.

Lord James Bethell, Board Member of Business for Health

The announcement was made at the MadWorld Summit in London, an event bringing together policymakers, industry leaders, technology pioneers and innovators in the private, public and third sectors. At the Summit, BFH, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will host a Think Tank to explore innovative strategies within the UK and globally that address workplace inactivity and long-term sickness.

Key ideas, insights, measures, and recommendations from the Think Tank will enable Business for Health to continue its work to reduce health and wellbeing disparities.

Tina Woods, CEO of Business for Health, said:

As we have witnessed, the UK’s healthcare system faces tremendous pressures and the onus to advance preventative, long-term health shouldn’t rest on the NHS alone. It is now more imperative than ever that we take decisive action to address the root causes of poor health and health inequalities. Improving both the long-term physical and mental health of the UK’s workforce has incredible potential to deliver substantial economic and social benefits for employers and wider society.

Tina Woods, CEO of Business for Health

According to reports by the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 6 people experience mental-ill health in the workplace, which was cited as a factor that impacts productivity for 1 in 5 employees. The reports also reveal that better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion annually. Additionally, recent figures from the Office for National Statistics have highlighted a record 2.5 million people have been forced out of work because of long-term sickness. These highlight the critical nature of Business for Health’s work to implement health into the ESG agenda.

Following the Think Tank, BFH will compile a comprehensive report, detailing insights, levers for scalable impact and recommendations inspired by the session’s discussion. This report will be launched at a UKRI-hosted event during Longevity Week on 14 November, and will lay the foundation to drive positive changes in workplace health and productivity for a healthier Britain.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.