The Health and Wellbeing at Work conference and exhibition kicks off at the NEC in Birmingham today (Tuesday March 6th) to help improve life in the workplace.
Now in its 12th year, the two-day event will provide work-aged people with innovative ideas and resources to ensure employees are engaged, motivated, healthy, return to work quickly following absence and stay in work.
The event aims to provide a learning platform to energise and inspire all who attend. Examples of best practice, latest research, profiling national development and service innovations are all on offer.
Dame Carol Black, principal at Newnham College and expert advisor to Public Health England and NHS England, said: “The past year has been a rich one for the health, work and wellbeing agenda. We have seen and welcome further action to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of all people.
“Mental health affects one fifth of the working-age population and in many these problems are hidden and frequently compound long-term physical conditions. The economic costs are heavy and employers face significant losses in productivity and high rates of sickness absence.
“Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer’s independent review of mental health and employers, Thriving at Work – about which we shall hear more during this conference – offers a singular and timely opportunity for determined responses across the world of work.”
The Health and Wellbeing at Work conference will showcase new technologies to help update skills and the exhibition boasts live demonstration theatres to gain hands-on experience, as well as the opportunity to network with 3,500 like-minded professionals.
The programme covers everything from mental health and vocational rehabilitation, to managing pain in the workplace and occupational psychology.
Dame Black added: “The Taylor review of modern working practices has addressed the changing demands and conditions of work and their implications for workers. There are compelling incentives – when workforce and management engage in these activities we find better productivity, reduced sickness absence, safer practice, improved service quality and enhanced reputation.
“Most people, most of the time, are not troubled by significant health problems. The task is to keep it so by alleviating, or best of all, preventing as far as possible the familiar threats to their wellbeing. This calls for effective action throughout life, especially in the workplace where people spend so much of their time and effort. Contributors to the event share their experience and knowledge to further progress the health, work and wellbeing agenda.”