Tea-breaker: what length of sickness absence should be self-certified?
The British Medical Association has passed a motion calling for employee sickness self-certification to be extended from seven to 14 days. The proposal is not supported by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine or the Society of Occupational Medicine. Both bodies say it is in the patient's best interest to start the return-to-work dialogue with GPs and employers sooner rather than later.
Do you think sickness self-certification should be extended to 14 days; remain at seven days; or be extended further? Please complete our tea-breaker poll here.
(Just one question!)
Occupational Health at Work online subscribers can view the full news item here
A report by the British Medical Association’s occupational medicine committee recommends that OH professionals should help employers review relevant policies, practices and activities to provide a ‘safe, healthy, age-sensitive and discrimination-free working environment’. Ageing and the workplace
also recommends that OH staff should help address prevailing myths and prejudices relating to older workers, specifically noting that in most jobs, declining health has no impact on job performance or safety.
Anne de Bono
Dr Anne de Bono will be the next president of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. De Bono is consultant occupational physician at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the chair of the NHS Health at Work Network. De Bono will take up the three-year post in June 2017.
Most workers would not disclose stress
Almost one in three UK employees have experienced mental health issues at work, but most rate their organisations’ support as substandard, a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) finds. Just 44% of workers responding to a CIPD survey say they would feel confident disclosing unmanageable stress or mental ill health to their line manager or employer.
The state of occupational health nursing
The UK’s biggest ever survey of occupational health nurses reveals that over 80% of practitioners do not consider themselves represented by a national OH body, and most do not feel professionally supported at work.. Part one of the survey found that there was overwhelming support for establishing a Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing. It was carried out in Spring 2016 jointly by the Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing Development Group
and The At Work Partnership
, and is published in the current issue of Occupational Health [at Work]
. Part two of the survey report will be published in Spring 2017 and will look at OH nurse education, funding and regulation.
Professionals are getting just six hours 28 minutes’ sleep a night, a report from Hult International Business School finds. This is half an hour less than the minimum recommended by a panel of US sleep experts to prevent adverse health outcomes. Approximately two-thirds of respondents said: they had trouble staying focused in meetings when tired; it took longer to complete tasks after a poor night’s sleep; and they found it harder to work with ‘challenging colleagues’ when sleep deprived.
Police force fitness
All except 2% of police officers passed their mandatory fitness tests in the 12 months to August 2015, official figures reveal. The pass rate was higher among male officers than female officers, although the female pass rate was an improvement on the previous year’s figures. The fitness test increases in difficulty depending on the role. Officers who want to take up policing roles in, for example, diving, firearms and air support are required to meet a higher standard. college.police.uk/news
Employing people with disabilities and health conditions
The government has updated its guidance on helping businesses employ people with disabilities and health conditions. The guidance also encourages businesses to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme, which ‘aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people’.
The latest Research Plus is available free of charge on our website
Research Plus, funded by a grant from the British Occupational Health Research Foundation
, is freely available to all OH professionals. It is published as part of the Occupational Health [at Work]
journal. It highlights original research and systematic reviews from a wide range of current publications meeting evidence quality criteria.
Please visit http://www.atworkpartnership.co.uk/researchplus
to search all of the articles in Research Plus free of charge from 2007 to the present day.
The October/November 2016 issue looks at research in the following areas, amongst others: