New scheme launched to help staff at small businesses access well-being support
A new scheme to enable small and medium-sized enterprises, or ‘SMEs’, to access health and well-being support is being launched today by the Welsh Government.
Ministers are providing £8 million to deliver the new In-Work Support Service across Wales over the next two years.
The service will provide free access to therapeutic support for employees of SMEs or the self-employed.
Support will be available for people who are absent or at risk of becoming absent from work with mental or physical ill-health, with the aim of helping them to remain in or return to work.
The scheme will also be available to third sector employers.
Therapeutic support will be provided for common conditions, including physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropody and podiatry.
Mental health support will also be offered, including counselling and stress management.
The service builds on the success of a previous European-funded service which provided support in parts of north Wales and Swansea Bay until December 2022.
The new scheme will operate across the whole of Wales for the first time, enabling up to 7,000 people to potentially be helped.
Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, said: “Businesses increasingly appreciate the link between wellbeing and a happy and productive workforce, and the economic benefits that investing in activities which promote good health bring to a business or organisation.
“This new scheme will enable businesses who lack occupational health services of their own to access important support for their employees or themselves. I’m looking forward to seeing smaller business’ across Wales, and their workers, benefit from the support of the new In-Work Support Services, which will now be available across the whole of Wales for the first time.”
Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, added: “As part of our work to reduce economic inactivity, we’re taking action to support people to stay in work and those further away from the labour market to find employment.
“This scheme will be crucial in helping prevent people from losing their job due to work-limiting health conditions and will help people remain in work or return to work sooner. This will be a real benefit to the employee, employer and the wider economy.”
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