Watch the webinar
- Jordan Cummins (Health Programme Director, CBI)
- Anna Bartle (Vice President of Corporate Affairs for The Estee Lauder Companies)
- Julie Billet (Director of Operations, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)
- Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media (Chair)
In this session:
Jordan Cummins (Programme Director – Health, CBI)
- On Monday, the Government set out its Living with Covid Strategy for dealing with the virus moving forward.
- Key changes include:
- The legal requirement to self-isolate has now ended. People testing positive will still be advised to stay at home for at least 5 full days and employees no longer must tell their employers about their requirement to self-isolate.
- From 24 March: the temporary changes to statutory sick pay and the employment support allowance brought in at the start of the pandemic will end.
- From 1 April: Free testing will end – free tests will now be targeted at the most vulnerable and those in social care.
- CBI initial reaction: Clear that the government is strategy is aimed at marking a big step towards normality returning. However, as we well know that the virus hasn’t gone away.
- However, the end of free mass testing from April could pose a real issue for industry: recognise that free testing can’t go on forever, but LFTs have been key driver of confidence, supporting RTO etc.
- Some key outstanding questions from businesses which government needs to clarify, including: What are the implications for employer liability and responsibility? What does this mean for the employer duty of care, especially towards clinically vulnerable staff members? What power does an employer have to prevent an employee who tests positive for Covid coming into the workplace
- Tony Danker (Director-General, CBI) already had a call with Business Sec Kwasi Kwarteng on Monday to land our initial reaction and the CBI will be gathering member feedback on the policy changes and feeding that insight into ongoing government engagement.
- We are encouraging members to share thoughts and questions on how your business will be adapting to the changes.
- On the new health policy team at the CBI: 131m working days a year are lost due to ill-health, this costs us £100bn a year so physical and mental ill-health is a huge drain on the economy. Need to think more holistically about employee health and the impacts our health services and be more joined up between business and government.
Julie Billett (Director of Operations, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities is a new body within DHSC - their remit is focused on improving health of nation and other inequalities.
- Even before pandemic, life expectancy was starting to plateau, and we needed to further understand what determinants of poor health outcomes were.
- Poor health outcomes are related to whole range of protected characteristics, including, poverty and educational attainment, and part of their work is about understanding drivers and gaps.
- However severe some of these health inequalities, clear gradient between differences in health that are avoidable and preventable.
- The business role in creating a “healthier nation” is enormous. We spend a huge amount of our life in work, so we need to ensure good work, fair pay, good terms and conditions, supportive and inclusive environments.
- Anna Bartle(Vice President of Corporate Affairs, The Estée Lauder Companies)
- Today we are seeing a more progressive, inclusive, and just approach from employers to their employees when it comes to health.
- Estee Lauder have an ambition to be the most inclusive, diverse, and equitable beauty company in the world so everything we do has to stay true to this vision. Very early on the pandemic, they set-up a dedicated medical advisory board to lead their response within the company to best support employees and customers around the world. For example, health guidance on company intranet, frequent seminars featuring medical advice, and online GP appointments.
- Given they have 95% female staff and 95% female customers they also set-up Estee Lauder “care fund” which is a financial fund and offers relief and aid to colleagues going through difficult situations.
- Fundamentally believe about having a good presence in the communities where they have a footprint, and they make sure they support local businesses and local schools, and they have partnered with a breast cancer charity to further research access to testing and raise awareness across all demographics.