The effect of long-term illness on unemployment

The unemployment rate is at its lowest for almost 50 years, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – but economic inactivity is on the rise due to long-term illness.

The number of those out of work dropped to 3.5 per cent in the three months to August, with many companies struggling to recruit.

However, the ONS reports that the economic inactivity rate rose to 21.7 per cent from June to August, showcasing the number of people aged between 16 and 64 no longer looking for work.

In fact, the number of workers inactive due to long-term illness reached a record high of approximately 2.5 million.

Support employees with long-term illness

In the UK, over 15 million people live with long-term health conditions.

As an employer, displaying good management practices allows your employees to remain in work and reach their potential.

Flexible working is an option that should seriously be considered if you have not already done so. An employee may be able to manage their condition better at home, whilst continuing to work.

However, if an employee is required to physically be in the workplace, you should consider putting adjustments in place for them.

Ultimately, it is important to communicate with them to see what they need, and what is feasible for you as a business.

Equality and accessible information

Many people will find telling others about their long-term illness difficult.

Therefore, you need to inform your staff that any health conditions they live with will be handled fairly and with compassion, and their career prospects protected.

Ensure that your employees are provided with accessible information that could help them to remain in work and work efficiently.

These measures will not only attract potential recruits but will also help retain existing employees.

Need help managing long-term illness in your organisation, speak to our team for advice.

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