The relationship between good employment and good health is addressed in the latest Public Health annual report.
The document takes a look at Bolton’s work profile and highlights the importance of being employed in a good job that could directly improve a person’s health.
In Bolton, the employment rate is around 70 per cent which is not far behind the national average of 74 per cent.
This still leaves almost 12,000 residents who are out of work due to sickness and as evidence reveals that this can be harmful to a person’s health, with higher rates of mortality, cardiovascular disease, mental health illness and musculoskeletal conditions, it is important to help people into employment.
However, it is considered essential to strive for good quality employment as poor working conditions can also be bad for health and wellbeing.
The Bolton Working Well Programme supports people into work via a key worker and enables access to a range of services, including mental health support. It works with local organisations such as Bolton CVS and the Team Bolton Partnership to increase the number of good quality jobs in the borough.
Established in 2013, it works with more than 400 local employers to help to improve local people’s skills and secure a job for them.
Bolton is also closely linked to the Greater Manchester Working Well strategy, which aims to support people into work and training. The borough will also be an early adopter of the Greater Manchester Work and Health strategy, which will involve local GPs to help prevent people becoming long term unemployed due to health reasons.
The annual report also acknowledges the need for early preventative measures and states that all partners should be committed to boosting educational attainment, particularly in the most disadvantaged communities.
Equally, the report highlights the need to consider Bolton’s ageing population and continue to provide the same access to healthy work opportunities for older employees.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “This is a very thorough and far-reaching report which addresses the need for everyone to have access to a job that contributes to their health and wellbeing in a positive way.
“Being out of work can be detrimental to a person’s health and we will continue to work with our partners to tackle the barriers to employment. However, having a job with low pay and poor conditions can also affect our health and lead to long periods of absence, so it is imperative that we all strive to provide good quality employment for all.”
Bolton Council’s Director of Public Health, David Herne, added: “We can never underestimate the importance of good health, especially as we are an ageing population that will be in work for longer.
“The relationship between health and employment is significant to our future as a community. In Bolton, our aim is to create an active, prosperous and connected community and integral to achieving that is the opportunity for everyone to access employment that will give them a good standard of living and is beneficial to their health.”
The report will be considered by the Health and Wellbeing Board at their next meeting.