The Departments for Work and Pensions and Health are to jointly appoint a national director for occupational health to focus on the health and well being of people of working age.
The director will oversee the implementation of the health, work and wellbeing strategy to be published later in the autumn, raise the profile of work and its relationship to health and wellbeing.
David Blunkett, secretary of state for work and pensions, said a new occupational health programme for the UK would aim to prevent ill-health, to help rehabilitate those in ill-health, reduce absence from work, and help people to avoid relying on benefits out of work.
“The health and well being of people of working age is of great importance to our future,” he said.
Patricia Hewitt, secretary of state for health, said the government wanted to transform opportunities for people to recover from illness while at work and maintain their “independence and sense of worth”.