Agenda item

The health and wellbeing of the City's hidden and essential workers

Report of the Director of Public Health, City and Hackney.


The Board considered a report of the Director of Public Health in respect of the health and wellbeing needs of the so called “hidden workforce”; ie -   essential support staff such as cleaners, maintenance workers, construction workers and security staff who often work during anti-social hours and without whom businesses could not function. Published reports have highlighted that shift workers often have significantly worse health and wellbeing with increased health inequalities.


The report asked the Board to give consideration as to how the recommendations could be implemented within the City of London Corporation, in order to improve health and wellbeing of the hidden and essential workforce,  whilst reducing health inequalities.   Members commended a helpful and insightful report and, during the discussion the following points were noted:


The report has been shared with the Living Wage Foundation and the Chair would be meeting with them shortly.


The report had been to the Community and Children’s Services Department’s  Senior Leadership Team but not to any Member Committees, as officer were keen for a steer from HWB.


Some of the recommendations in respect of  Terms and Conditions might apply to ourtsourced services and might be for other partners to consider.

It was suggested that this be raised with the City Corporation’s new EDI Head.


In response to a question in respect of how departments are addressing policies in terms of public health duty and health and wellbeing, the Deputy Town Clerk agreed to take this as an action point, as part of other related, strategic works.  Members noted that the City Corporation’s Executive Leadership Board works across all departments and institutions and, in the first instance, it would be helpful to present the report to this group, alongside London Living Wage consideration.


It would be helpful for the Corporate Services  and Policy and Resources Committees to see this report in due course and suggest some ; ie – discouraging zero hours contracts, 12 hour shifts, advance notice of changes, etc.  and encourage businesses to have similar ethical procurement policies.  The City Corporate always stipulates LLW.


The report might be a helpful basis for training sessions across health and care partners and for future consideration at the Integrated Care Board.   The Chair of Healthwatch advised that this had been raised at Community Diagnostic Hubs. 


Could the City Corporation use mobile screening units for its workers.  This could be then be an exemplar to other City employers.  


Where food is provided to workers, then this should be of reasonable quality with appropriate break times.


The London Borough of Tower Hamlets works with Canary Wharf on their diagnostic hub.  The City Corporate are in conversation with North East London in terms of a regional approach.  A Member advised that large developers are required to devote space to community/public benefit. 


During the pandemic, the City’s Business Intelligence Team  were able to find out where people travelled from  and they might be able to source data in respect of the number of workers employed via outsourced/third party contracts in the City and where they travel from.


RESOLVED, that – the report and actions above be noted in terms of the further promotion of this report at the City of London Corporation’s Executive Leadership Board and Corporate Services and Policy and Resources Committees.

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