Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Health

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered at on 25 October 2019.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether her Department uses Office for National Statistics estimates of personal well-being in formulating policy; and what policies her Department has introduced to improve personal well-being in the last 12 months.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Further to the answer to Question 171303, the department continues to use a range of surveys and data when formulating and evaluating its policies. Estimates of personal well-being show that average life satisfaction, happiness and worthwhile ratings are high, and all have increased year-on-year since 2015. Average anxiety is low and has decreased since 2012.

The department’s mission is to build a stronger, greener future. This means preparing businesses for Brexit and the opportunities that lie ahead, leading the world in tackling climate change, solving the Grand Challenges facing our society and making the UK the best place to work and grow a business. We are mindful of the impact these priorities have for people across the UK and all these policies can have a positive impact on wellbeing.

Almost nothing has as great an impact on personal wellbeing as employment. The UK currently has high employment rates and increased participation amongst historically under-represented groups. The What Works Centre for Wellbeing has found that being in a job is good for wellbeing, when measured by life satisfaction, but being in a good quality job is even better. We are creating fairer, inclusive and flexible workplaces so everyone has the chance to succeed as well as balance work and home life. We have made good progress to implement the Good Work Plan in the past year, including passing a raft of secondary legislation to boost workers’ rights and consulting on policies to enhance flexibility whilst reducing opportunities for the deliberate misuse of flexibility by employers.

We are improving lives by tackling our Grand Challenges, in the context of an ageing society, we need to ensure that people can live and work well for longer. So far, we have announced £98 million of investment through the Healthy Ageing Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to stimulate well-designed innovations that support people to enjoy active and independent lives for longer.

This summer we also committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and end our contribution to global warming by 2050, recognising the importance of our environment to our wellbeing today and into the future. We will drive economic growth through the race to cut carbon and accelerate climate action through strong global leadership.

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