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Lessons from the pandemic: good work and good health

The Good Work Monitor should lead to renewed impetus for the goal of ‘good work for all’ and reposition ‘good jobs’ at the centre of recovery planning. It’s also demonstrated that good work is a public health issue. This is the moment to act and ensure that a future of good work is secured for all.’ - Sir Christopher Pissarides, Good Work Monitor, January 2021

Action on health inequalities is essential for the national economy, local prosperity and to build back better from COVID-19. An inclusive and sustainable economic approach requires universal action which is proportionately targeted towards the most disadvantaged [and includes] supporting access to good quality employment ’- PEE’s Inclusive and Sustainable Economies, March 2021

IFOW’s Good Work Monitor has built the first detailed sub-regional map of access to good work across the country. It explores connections between good work and local population health, including diseases of despair and COVID mortalities, and identifies the social and economic conditions needed to create good jobs. The GWM provides a framework for recovery for national and local governments seeking to reduce inequalities of health and work. It also makes case for cross-department focus on good work.

Following launch of the GWM, Public Health England published their own framework for place based action to reduce health inequalities and build back better: ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Economies: leaving no one behind’. Like our Monitor, the Government’s framework highlights:

> the crucial role of collaborative, integrated action at a local authority level

> the importance of addressing the underlying the fundamental determinants of health which must include good quality work, as well as jobs and income

> the need to set a local vision which looks beyond GDPas a measure of success

> the particular role of avoidable socioeconomic inequalities in shaping people’s work and lives.  

The Government report concludes that there is a strong moral and economic case for acting act scale to reduce health inequalities. Specifically, the Government recommend ‘support access to fair and good quality employment.’

IFOW is currently developing a time series to the GWM to further inform a long term approach to recovery and building back better.

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