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19 August 2010 | PR 10/130

Management behaviour key to successful returns to work for long-term sick

New guidance launched today (19 August), which is aimed at helping managers support people returning to work after long-term sickness, can play a key role in preventing workers with health problems fall out of employment altogether.

The guidance is based on research conducted by a team of psychologists from Goldsmiths, University of London, Loughborough University and Affinity Health at Work.

As part of their research, the team spoke to employees, line managers and HR, health and safety and occupational health practitioners.  This enabled a competency framework to be developed, which will help employers equip their managers with the necessary skills, and a questionnaire designed to measure the relevant behaviours for managers.

Launched by the British Occupational Health Research Foundation (BOHRF), the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Healthy Working Lives and the Health and Safety Executive, the guidance highlights the key behaviours needed by managers to support timely and lasting returns to work.

It is particularly timely following the introduction of the Government’s new ‘fitnote’, which is designed to encourage GPs to recommend that more people with health problems return to work early as part of their rehabilitation.

The guidance advises managers to:


For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Robert Blevin, Gregor Ridley or Katie Breeze
Loughborough University
T: 020 8612 6400 or M: 07793256763
E: press@cipd.co.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. Dr Jo Yarker (Goldsmiths, University of London), Dr Fehmidah Munir (Loughborough University) and Emma Donaldson-Feilder (affinity Health at Work) are available for Interview.

  2. Manager Support for Return to Work Following Long Term Sickness Absence is available to download from the CIPD website: www.cipd.co.uk/research

  3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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