Good employment is good for health, according to public health report

28 March 2024
Image of different workers, with Dave Bradburn Wirral's Director of Public Health, text reads 'Work in progress: health and employment in Wirral'
The report shares some of the evidence on how and why good employment is so important to health and wellbeing and looks at how different groups might be disproportionately affected.

Good employment is good for the health of individuals, families, communities and the local economy - that’s according to Wirral’s Public Health Annual Report or ‘PHAR’, 2023/24.

The report, titled ‘Work in Progress’, studies the link between health and employment in the borough.

Shared with local councillors at Wirral’s Adult Social Care and Health committee in March, the PHAR sets out a vision for how improvements to employment in the borough could have long-lasting positive impacts on population health and overall wellbeing.

The Public Health Annual Report is a statutory requirement. It is an independent report that describes some of the key issues impacting the health and wellbeing of residents and makes recommendations for how these might be most effectively addressed.

Dave Bradburn, Wirral’s Director of Public Health, said:

Evidence is clear that whilst there are numerous social issues that impact our health and wellbeing, the connection between employment and health is vital.

Through the report, we look at the impact of good employment on our health and wellbeing while also highlighting the inequalities and challenges faced by people who are excluded from the employment market, or who hold insecure, low-paid, and unsafe jobs.

This is my first PHAR as Director of Public Health here in Wirral, so I wanted it to focus on an issue that touches all corners of our borough. It’s also an important step in the journey to deliver on the commitment made by all partner organisations across Wirral to address the root causes of poor health and to tackle health inequalities.

Split into four chapters, each focusing on an important theme relating to employment in the borough, the report looks at:

  • Inequalities and employment
  • Employment and skills
  • Creating an inclusive economy
  • Helping people find good jobs and stay in work

It shares some of the evidence on how and why good employment is so important to health and wellbeing and looks at how different groups might be disproportionately affected, both in terms of accessing employment and staying in work. 

It also includes several residents’ stories and experiences, which help to illustrate some of the issues that people are facing as well as highlighting opportunities for improvement.

These residents’ stories include Wirral resident Sarah, a single parent in her 50s, who struggled to find a job after relocating due to an abusive relationship which affected her confidence. Or Peter, a resident in his 50s who, after leaving his job following a two heart attacks, struggled to re-enter the job market and find a suitable part time position.

Dave Bradburn said: “These stories and others in the report highlight that people are often dealing with multiple, complex issues or additional barriers when looking for work.”

Finally, the report lays out a set of recommendations for local organisations which include; strengthening efforts to ensure inclusive recruitment practices, establishing community connections to maximise ‘social value’ and sharing best practice to help improve workforce health.

The report is available to read via this link.

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Information on employment support programmes and training and education can be found on Wirral Infobank:

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