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Employers get the North East workforce fit for work

Date 28 Sep 2007
Author The Editor
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Over 100 of the region's business leaders gathered this week to discover how to improve workplace health. Now in its second year EEF Northern's Fit for life, Fit for work, Fit for the future conference aimed to inspire the region's employers to combat business issues by improving the mental and physical health of the workforce.

EEF Northern's initiative to improve the health of the workforce has gained momentum as the North East is being reported to have the worst levels of sickness absence in the UK. Representatives from large national organisations and regional SME's attended the conference and demonstrated their commitment to improve the health of the North East workforce.

Joanne Holborn, Head of Legal at EEF Northern, said: "We have had an excellent response to the event. It is a credit to the North East that so many employers are taking steps to improve the health and wellbeing of the workforce."

The Government's National Director for Health and Work gave the audience an insight into the Government's future plans in workplace health. Professor Dame Carol Black said: "It is essential to support employers to improve the health of their workforce. One key area is to ensure that people with health conditions and disabilities are supported to enter, return to and continue in work."

Other speakers included Dr Paul Litchfield, BT Group Chief Medical Officer, whose initiatives have reduced mental health sickness absence by 30%. Alan Hinkes, Britain's most successful high altitude climber, spoke of the importance of mental and physical health.

The event was sponsored by AXA PPP Healthcare, North East Employer Coalition and Sport England. It also had the support of Work Wise North East, NHS North East and the Department for Health, Work and Wellbeing.

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