Occupational health news in brief

Majority of older staff did not take a sickie last year

A poll by disability insurer Unum in October, one year on from the introduction of age discrimination legislation, has found 99% of 56 to 64-year-old staff in full-time employment have not taken a ‘sickie’ in the past 12 months. By contrast, a quarter of 16 to 24-year-olds and 17% of 25 to 34-year-olds had done so at least once.

Police wellbeing survey

Business psychology firm Robertson Cooper is carrying out a wellbeing at work survey across 43 police forces for the Police Federation of England and Wales. It will poll 9,000 inspectors and chief inspectors in what is thought to be the largest such initiative ever to take place at this level. The results will be announced next May.

Clarification on health clearance for new staff

The government has clarified guidance on health clearances for new healthcare staff in regards to tuberculosis, hepatitis and HIV. Some trusts had interpreted the guidance, published in March, as applying to all staff changing jobs, said NHS Plus. In fact, it only applies to staff who are new to the NHS, those returning to the service, or those moving into training or posts involving exposure-prone procedures for the first time.

Lack of alcohol policies

Four in 10 employers believe alcohol is a significant cause of absence and lost productivity. Yet a poll by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that four in 10 organisations had no policy in place to help manage this issue, with just 38% providing co-ordinated rehabilitation, and only half providing access to counselling or occupational health services.

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