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Long Covid and illness drives 400,000 more people from the workforce

05 May 2022

A new Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report warns that deep health inequalities and ineffective policies mean people are living shorter lives, with more years spent in poor health, and facing greater barriers to staying in, and thriving, in the workplace.

The report shows that over a million workers are missing from the workforce compared to the pre-pandemic trend and about 400,000 of these are no longer working because of health factors, such as long Covid, disruption to healthcare and declining mental health, resulting in an £8 billion economic downturn this year.

The report shows that the relationship between health and the economy is a decisive factor in the UK’s ongoing low productivity, low growth, and regional inequality.

DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “Disabled people are too often seen as workshy and incompetent when we are dependable problem solvers and assets to the workforce. Businesses need to change not just their views about Disabled people, but their working cultures, so that flexibility and adaptation are at their core. We saw during the pandemic how effective this was. It’s time to embrace the new, not go back to the old, failing practices.”