Responsibility Deal Health at Work

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The Responsibility Deal Health at Work Network aims to improve health in the workplace and to support improvements in employee health, and in turn the health of the public.

It is chaired by Dame Carol Black, National Director of Health and Work and Chair of the Nuffield Trust, and supported by Earl Howe, Parliamentary Secretary for Quality at the Department of Health. [1] As with the other Public Health Responsibility Deal networks it is made up of a mixture of corporate, public bodies and NGOs. The network will consider how to reduce workplace absences with a particular emphasis on mental health. It will also look at how employers can support work-based health promotion, for example through stop smoking programmes and health checks.

Working groups have been established to look into four related but specific areas:

  • Health and Wellbeing Local Business Partnerships – three pilots where large companies mentor local Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on employee health and wellbeing.
  • Engaging SMEs - analysing the most effective ways of engaging SMEs in workplace health and wellbeing, and developing a website that brings together SME-relevant information.
  • Managing Chronic Conditions guides – developing guides for employers and employees on managing people with chronic illness in the workplace.
  • Occupational health – developing practical guidance to help occupational health services support and encourage employers in safeguarding and improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce.[2]

Collective Pledges

  • To embed the principles of the chronic conditions guides (developed through the Responsibility Deal’s health at work network) within HR procedures to ensure that those with chronic conditions at work are managed in the best way possible with reasonable flexibilities and workplace adjustments
  • To use only occupational health services which meet the new occupational health standards and which aim to be accredited by 2012/13
  • To include a section on the health and wellbeing of employees within annual reports and/or website. This should include staff sickness absence rate.
  • To implement some basic measures for encouraging healthier staff restaurants/ vending outlets/buffets for staff, including:
    • Ensuring the availability of healthier foods and beverages in all available channels to employees
    • Working with caterers to reformulate recipes to provide meals which are lower in fat, salt, and energy and which do not contain artificial trans fats
    • Provision of responsibly sized portions of foods
    • Provision and promotion of the consumption of fruit and vegetables through availability and price promotion
    • Provision of calories and/or Guideline Daily Amounts on menus per portion as a minimum (further nutrients optional)
    • Ensure that water is visible and freely available[3]

Invited attendees

Sir Mansel Aylward Cardiff University | Alan Walters Unilever | Alison Clark Mars UK | Amanda Simonds Novo Nordisk | Andrew Bonser Alliance Boots | Sir Anthony Newman Taylor Imperial College | Bill Gunnyeon Department for Work and Pensions | Bob Grove Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health | Cary Cooper Lancaster University Management School | Christine Hancock C3 Collaborating for Health | Ciarán Devane Macmillan Cancer Support | David Batman Nestle | Deborah Jamieson HWWB | Eric Teasdale Astrazeneca | Geoff Dessent Department of Health | Prof Sir George Alberti Diabetes UK | Francis Ainley Mars UK | Fiona King Eon-UK | Greg Peterson Kelloggs | Hugh Robertson Trades Union Congress | Ingemar Petterson MORSE | Jane Willis HSE | Julian Hunt Food and Drink Federation | Karen Charman NHS Employers | Louise Boston Eon UK | Lucy Cork Alliance Boots | Maria Bourke Let's Get Healthy | Mark Duddridge Ginsters | Mark Harrod Central YMCA | Mary Boughton Federation of Small Businesses | Prof Mike Kelly NICE | Neil Budworth Eon-UK | Nicki Cooper British Heart Foundation | Olivia Carlton Transport for London | Peter Baker Men’s Health Forum | Dr Peter Wright Department of Work and Pensions | Prof Selena Gray Faculty of Public Health | Ross McNally South East Chambers of Commerce | Sachin Sharma Compass | Sarah Wilcher Unilever | Sayeed Khan EEF | Sian Williams Royal College of Physicians | Stephen Bevan The Work Foundation | Steve Boorman Royal Mail Group | Steven Sumner Local Government Employers | Stuart Stokes Zest People. [4]

Related Responsibility Deal Networks


  1. Department of Health Health at Work Network accessed 14th September 2011
  2. Department of Health Health at Work Network accessed 14th September 2011
  3. Department of Health Public Health Responsibility Pledges: Health at Work accessed 14th September 2011
  4. Department of Health Health at Work Network accessed 14th September 2011