The Healthy Workplace initiative is an important part of driving the Healthy Ireland agenda. As there are over 2 million people employed in Ireland, the workplace can make an important contribution to healthier communities.
Workplaces directly influence the physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing of workers and in turn, the health of their families, communities and society. It therefore offers an ideal setting and infrastructure to support the promotion of health to a large audience. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), workplace health programmes are one of the best ways to prevent and control chronic disease, and also to support mental health.
The development of a Healthy Workplace framework across both public and private sectors will encourage and support the development of Health and Wellbeing programmes in all places of employment. This will be further strengthened in the public sector by legislation to require all public sector employers to have and report on a health and wellbeing policy. The framework will enable us to recognise and enhance existing initiatives, to facilitate the sharing of experience and learning, and also provide the necessary supports and tools for organisations or companies who haven’t yet developed their own resources.
Work on progressing the Healthy Workplaces framework and the legislation has commenced and will involve collaboration and consultation with a number of Government Departments, agencies and private sector companies and organisation.