Digby Jones, the head of the CBI, has told the Government not to blame business for people being unhealthy.
The director-general of the CBI told leisure industry leaders at the Business In Sport and Leisure annual conference to defend companies, which he said were “under attack from the advancing forces of the nanny state”.
His remarks follow the publication of the Government’s Choosing Health White Paper, which puts pressure on employers to take responsibility for the health of the nation.
The report dedicates a 20-page chapter to the connection between health and work, and is the first time the Government has drawn up comprehensive guidelines for employers.
The Department of Health says two million people suffer from an illness they believe has been caused or made worse by their work.
However, Jones warned of “a drive to de-risk society”, and a rising nanny state that “gives rights to people but removes the concept of responsibility”.
“Firms take too much of the blame for society’s mistakes, including those things over which companies have little or no control,” he said.
“We need real political leadership on issues such as nutrition, smoking and alcohol consumption, not attempts to shift the burden of responsibility to business.
“Let’s see Government setting the pace by allowing tax relief on gym subs paid by employers – a little gesture, a big impact.”
For more on the White Paper, go to: http://www.personneltoday.com/26882.Article