November 17, 2022
New statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicate that over the last three years, the most significant relative increases in long-term sickness of all working-age individuals were in those aged 16-34 years. Men comprised 61% of this group. The total number of people classed as long-term sick has increased by half a million between Spring 2019 and Summer 2022. Given these findings, is there more we can do to protect the workforce in our MOT testing businesses?
The figures released by ONS on 10th November 2022 indicate that during the three years reported on, 16-34-year-olds noted an increase in every health category of long-term sickness. Looking only at this age category reveals: instances of “mental illness and nervous disorders” increased by 24%; “depression, bad nerves or anxiety” increased by 12%; “problems connected with the back and neck” increased by 12%; “other health problems or disabilities” increased by 10%, and a massive 69% increase was reported in “progressive illnesses (e.g. cancer)”. The repercussions of the pandemic have very likely contributed to each of these worrying increases.
It is plain to see that the stresses and worry that came with the pandemic have negatively impacted our country’s mental health, arguably taking a more considerable toll on the younger generations. That, added to the indiscriminate nature of long-covid, could account for a significant increase. Additionally, the impact of more prevalent working-from-home policies in most industries will have impacted mental health and likely muscular-skeletal issues in those making do with inadequate home working setups. But we must also consider the overall impact on all areas of the NHS. “Median wait times from referral to NHS treatment in England have almost doubled, from around 7 weeks in April 2019 to almost 14 weeks in August 2022.” (see source here) which will no doubt have impacted all categories, but specifically the latter of “progressive illnesses”.
We are navigating culturally turbulent times. Pandemic-related stresses and strains, the worrying rise in the cost of living, and the difficulties in getting onto the property ladder for the first time are all creating a melting pot of challenges for the youngest of working generations and negatively impacting health in many ways.
As business owners, our workers are the lifeblood of our organisations. Without the guys in the MOT bays, our business would grind to a halt. And larger dealer groups cannot fully maximise their value chain or sustain it without the whole crew of technicians in workshops. It’s important to acknowledge that this is a turbulent time for many workers. Our duty of care to our employees and our responsibility to our businesses is to promote a positive and supportive culture to counterbalance the increasing stresses and strains of post-pandemic Britain.
By promoting a culture of enrichment and support within our working environments, we can get ahead of any potential issues which could develop within our workforce. By taking proactive steps to create a culture of support, setting clear expectations, assisting in achieving set targets, and keeping stress to a minimum for our staff, we set ourselves up for greater long-term success during these trying times.
At MOT Juice, we aim to bring simplicity and ease to all areas of your compliance, benefiting those in management and those on the shop floor. Stress-free compliance creates a culture of safety within the business. It also builds confidence and agency within individual employees as they find they can easily fulfil their responsibilities, contributing to this broader sense of business assurance. Country-wide, testers report the many benefits the MOT Juice system brings to their roles daily.
MOT Juice provides simple and effective solutions in many areas of your business. Our training and development programs for testers and managers continually deepen the overall understanding of compliance and its applications. It makes staying abreast of new compliance requirements effortless. We provide all resources in bite-sized chunks and easily digestible video formats where possible. We offer great ways to take the stress out of annual assessments by providing our free ‘mock exam’ and training resources which are an excellent way for testers to mentally prepare for what is often a stressful time of year. And we offer an expertly curated compliance platform which enables compliance duties to be spread equitably through all levels of the business and makes everyone’s compliance responsibilities easy to fulfil.