Can the economic and social cost of sickness absence be reduced by improving the quality of working life?

E Wainwright, D Wainwright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


An Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)/Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Public Policy Project

Report on a Public Policy Seminar held at Health and Safety Executive, Rose Court, Southwark, London, 5 February, 2009

Chapter Five: Can the Economic and Social Costs of Sickness Absence be Reduced by Improving the Quality of Working Life?, David Wainwright and Elaine Heaver (University of Bath)

Improving the quality of working life (QoWL) is a valued objective in itself and as a means of promoting economic and social welfare. Most people spend a large
proportion of their lives at work; improve their QoWL, it is argued, and they will not only become happier and more productive, but also take up fewer welfare and healthcare resources and perform more effectively as citizens and family members. The logic is seductive, but the pathway from improvements in QoWL to economic and social benefits is complicated. Additionally, the benefits can be hard to quantify, and may be too far removed from the workplace to be meaningful to the managers and employers who can bring about the changes needed to achieve them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmployee well-being and working life: towards an evidence-based policy agenda
EditorsK Whitfield
Place of PublicationSwindon, Wiltshire
PublisherHealth and Safety Executive (HSE)
Number of pages9
EditionEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

This was written originally under Elaine's maiden name E. Heaver, so if the work is cited then the correct authors D. Wainwright and E. Heaver should be used.


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