Mind the Gaps Scoping the Future to Link Health to Wealth: Business for Health (B4H) ran a roundtable at The Watercooler event on 26 May, focussed on ‘Workforce Design to Address Health Inequalities – Scoping the Future to Link Health to Wealth.’ This kicked off the inaugural discovery roundtables with our project with Impact on Urban Health that will explore how positive work can make a real difference in people’s health and inform the future of workforce design to enhance health and reduce health disparities.
The changing workforce itself has presented new opportunities for support and job design, including skills-building for lower-wage earners to support professional advancement. Topics of all roundtables will include exploring meaningful work, hybrid work and flexible work with a real focus on lower-income, frontline roles, including precarity, uncertainty and cost of living crisis.
Senior industry leaders from different sectors came together to share how their businesses, or representative bodies, are tackling the wider determinants of health in hard-hit sectors like retail, hospitality, leisure and care. They offered insights on current models of standards and measurement, but that lack health impact as part of them, which could provide an opportunity to put our weight behind as an industry model (ie Better Business Act, B-corp).
We set the scene by talking about how businesses have a role in addressing health inequalities, linking health to wealth and how this translates into productivity and the shared value that we can create with our efforts in levelling up.
We know that addressing social needs through targeted interventions provides invaluable assistance for our workforce. But we also must remain focused on addressing the social determinants, an upstream approach, creating the conditions for how people work, live, and thrive. These systemic changes are needed to address the root causes of ill health. The demand for social needs interventions won’t stop until the true root causes are addressed.
This article was written by Elizabeth Bachrad, Head of Programme Strategy, Business for Health