Flexible working 'may help people with back pain'Managers, HR staff and employers are being encouraged to provide more support for people suffering from musculoskeletal disorders.

The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance has published a charter outlining measures such as better flexible working arrangements and training of line managers to help deal with people suffering from conditions such as back pain in the workplace.

Commenting on the charter, Steve Bevan, managing director of the Work Foundation, said from the very moment that an employer learns one of their staff is suffering such an ailment they should be thinking of ways to help the employee stay in work.

This may mean making changes to their job description or altering the hours they work, he advised.

“Flexibility in working time can make a big difference, especially if the health condition causes chronic pain or fatigue,” Mr Bevan asserted.

He went on to note that just a small amount of flexibility can help people to cope with the demands of their condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who can experience “flares” of painful joint inflammation.

Mr Bevan concluded that in the medium to long term, the priority for employers should be creating quality jobs which boost employment security.

Posted by Ross George