Government launches £1m fund for ideas to boost health and welfare at work

Government launches £1m fund for ideas to boost health and welfare at work
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 31st Jan 2023

A £1m competition to fund projects that help more self-employed individuals and employees at small businesses access occupational health (OH) has been launched by the government.

The fund from the Joint Work and Health Unit, an initiative by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Health and Social Care, will provide up to £100,000 to ideas that boost access to health and welfare services at work.

The government said large employers usually have extensive access to OH services, but small businesses and the self-employed often lack support for people with health needs which can potentially lead to more people becoming economically inactive.

Applicants to the fund, delivered in conjunction with Innovate UK, are encouraged to show how they would improve OH and produce better health outcomes by using technology such as artificial intelligence and data collection.

Tom Pursglove, minister for disabled people, health and work, said:

"Good occupational health within workplaces is vital in supporting our overall health and standard of living. We spend so much of our lives at work, and it is imperative that our employers can give us the support we need to maintain our physical and mental health. This in turn means we can give our best at work.

"Through the launch of our new £1m fund, I look forward to seeing innovative, workable solutions to help SMEs deliver the best for their employees, creating healthier, welfare-driven working environments that will ultimately drive growth and improve people's working lives."

Helen Whately, minister for care, added:

"This new £1m fund will help us find better ways to support the health of our workforce – especially looking at small businesses and the self-employed.

"Making sure people stay well enough to work is so important – it means a bigger workforce, boosted productivity, and better quality of living."

Eligible projects must start on 1 June 2023, end by 31 January 2024 and last up to eight months.

Project leaders can be an organisation of any size and work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors.

The competition closes on 15 March 2023 at 11am. You can find full details here.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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