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SIP 2017 - Key Statement

Prof. Stephen Bevan – The Institute for Employment Studies, United Kingdom

"This presentation will assess how much progress has been made in raising the policy priority given to chronic pain as a societal and employment issue & highlight where further effort should be concentrated."



Prof. Stephen Bevan
Head of HR Research Development
The Institute for Employment Studies

As the European workforce ages and has to retire later, young people starting work today can look forward to working lives of 50 years or more. But with longer life expectancy comes an elevated risk of developing work-limiting chronic illness and chronic pain meaning that the quality of life and productivity of working age people with health conditions can be severely limited. Policy-makers across the EU are attaching great importance to policies which support their wider goals for ‘more and better jobs’, to reduce health inequalities, to improve social inclusion and cohesion, to support active and healthy ageing – including extending working lives. Despite this, the policy landscape both within the Commission and among Member States only rarely gives indications that the ‘siloes’ between policy domains can be broken down to deliver holistic, cross-disciplinary and coherent policy responses to the need for working age citizens living with chronic pain to receive the support they need.

The presentation will make the case for policy-makers to attach greater priority to measures which support working age people with chronic pain to remain in, or return to work, and what clinicians, employers and policymakers need to do to ensure that chronic pain does not become an insurmountable barrier to living a healthy, fulfilling and productive working life.

Professor Stephen Bevan is Head of HR Research Development at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). Stephen was, until March 2016, Director of Research at The Work Foundation, Lancaster University. Stephen has a special interest in workforce health and wellbeing, having led a number of national and international projects focusing on workforce health and the impact of chronic illness on productivity and social inclusion.

Stephen is an advisor to a number of UK government departments and has advised employers and policymakers in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Australasia and North America. He has received a special award from GAMIAN-Europe for his contribution to the field of mental health and is a reviewer for several academic journals, including The Lancet; a regular columnist for HR Magazine; a judge at the Global Healthy Workplace Awards; and is a member of Public Health England’s Health & Work Advisory Board. Stephen has also been Chair of the Fit for Work Europe Coalition.