Working To Wellbeing reveals 80% of line managers believe vocational rehabilitation support is important after long-term illness

According to the latest research commissioned by Working To Wellbeing, 80% of line managers in the UK believe vocational rehabilitation support to build physical, social, and work skills is important after long-term illness.

Related topics:  Working To Wellbeing,  New Research
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
5th February 2024
Hand Holding
"Being diagnosed with cancer can be one of the most difficult situations that anyone has to face, causing both physical and mental health symptoms."
- Dr Julie Denning, Managing Director at Working To Wellbeing & Chair of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association

Of those surveyed (529), 49% of employees would stay with an employer if they were offered vocational rehabilitation support after long-term illness, such as cancer. This rose to 58% of employees under 35 years old and 63% of those aged 35-54 years old.

Working To Wellbeing asked line managers about vocational rehabilitation support which 80% felt was important to build physical, social, and work skills after a long-term illness. Nearly eight in ten (78%) of line managers also agreed that personalised and timely vocational rehabilitation interventions improve work-related outcomes for employees with cancer.

Among those who have/had cancer (108), only 43% said they were satisfied with the phased return-to-work programme set out by their employer, decreasing to 32% among those aged 55 and above. Fewer (40%) were satisfied with their personalised return-to-work programme with a mere 25% of those aged 55 or above satisfied with their programme.

42% were satisfied with the level of flexible working, followed by wellbeing/mental health support (36%), reasonable adjustments in the workplace (36%), career advice (30%), physical modifications to the workplace (29%), and level of coaching (28%).

Dr Julie Denning, Managing Director at Working To Wellbeing & Chair of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association, said earlier diagnoses and developments in treatment have led to improved cancer survival rates, resulting in more employees with cancer in the workplace. “This requires a shift in employer behaviour to ensure they can offer the support and tools required, and the training in place for line managers to implement it,” she explained.

“Employers must understand how to prepare for both a phased, and personalised, return-to-work programme to accommodate the needs of their employees,” Julie warned. She believes ignorance towards vocational rehabilitation risks poor productivity, retention, morale, and costs.

More like this
Latest from Financial Reporter
Latest from Property Reporter
to our newsletter

Join a community of over 30,000 intermediaries and keep up-to-date with industry news and upcoming events via our newsletter.