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October/November 2020 (vol. 17/3)

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Back to work

Summary:

The psychosocial obstacles to returning to work during the pandemic could have a lasting impact on workers’ health.

In May 2020, Professor Dame Carol Black warned that Britain’s furlough scheme could have the unintended consequences of causing people to ‘become deconditioned and fearful’, facing psychosocial barriers to returning to work similar to those experienced by those on long-term sickness absence1. ‘Those on furlough are not sick … but they are absent from the labour market. Living (effectively) in an expanded benefit system, socially diminished and often without purpose, may exact a high price in the medium or long term,’ she wrote. The scheme ends on 31 October, with many workers expected to lose their jobs2, but negative psychosocial factors could have long-term costs, even for those due to return to their current workplace….

Author: Ballard J

Occupational Health at Work October/November 2020 (vol. 17/3) pp03

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