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December 15, 2015

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TUC’s new guidance on wellbeing at work

With health and work being closely linked, the TUC has published new guidance on wellbeing at work.

Work and wellbeing sets out the importance of healthy workplaces and provides advice on how to handle specific issues such as smoking, obesity and stress.

Stress caused by heavy workloads and demanding work patterns continues to be a massive issue for workers around the UK, with more than 400,000 people suffering from work-related stress every year.

Many other problems such as obesity, diabetes, and increased alcohol and tobacco use can also be linked to an unhealthy working environment.

The TUC guide emphasises that healthy work must lie in prevention of injuries and illnesses, and changing the workplace through encouraging better working relationships, greater respect for workers, and improved involvement of unions.

It explains that many of the other initiatives that are seen as being part of a wellbeing programme – such as encouraging cycling or walking to work, supporting gym membership or exercise classes and promoting healthy eating – are important, and that union workplace representatives have a key role to play in encouraging management to provide them.

The guide also seeks to ensure that employers are supporting initiatives by Public Health England, Public Health Wales and Scottish Healthy Working Lives, which are aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of workers.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Unions play a vital role in keeping people safe at work. Improving wellbeing in the workplace works best where unions and employers work together, but the government’s ill-conceived Trade Union Bill will make that more difficult by seeking to reduce the ability of unions to represent their members.

“Too many workers are still becoming ill through work and simply introducing ‘wellbeing programmes’ is not a substitute for stopping workers becoming ill, by addressing issues such as long hours, stress, unsafe conditions and a lack of respect at work. All these must be seen as part of the well-being agenda.

“Employers have much to gain by improving conditions at work, as healthy, happy and motivated staff have a positive impact on productivity.”

The guidance is available at:

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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