The Improving Working Lives Standard (IWL) was originally developed in 2001 with the aim of ensuring that all NHS employers were committed to improving the working lives of all staff. The 2009 framework is designed to maintain the principles of the original Improving Working Lives (IWL) Standard and enable organisations to develop good HR practice in partnership at local level.
Further details and the new framework are available through the NHS Staff Council area of NHS Employers web-site.
Gill Bellord – Chair NHS Employers representatives SPF
When first launched in 2001 the IWL Standard was one of the first big catalysts for partnership working in the NHS. At the Leading Workforce Thinking Conference, in November 2008 SPF conducted a short questionnaire to take the temperature of partnership working in the NHS. We received 263 responses from 171 different organisations and IWL was one of the key areas that many of the organisations highlighted as an area which they work on in partnership. We hope that this take up is something which is replicated through the new framework.
Mike Jackson – Chair/Lead staff-side SPF
Partnership working is not something we promote as an end in itself, it needs a focus to realise the benefits we know it can deliver to improving the working lives of NHS staff and improving services for patients. Health work and well-being issues are a good example of where partnership working can really make a difference and IWL is a great framework for local partnerships to use to jointly develop plans in order to address the issues in their own organisations and develop their own partnerships.
Nick Adkin – Chair/Lead DH representatives SPF
In the NHS Constitution we pledge that “High quality care requires high quality workplaces, with commissioners and providers aiming to be employers of choice.” The IWL framework is one of a range of tools available to support NHS organisations to become employers of choice and presents an opportunity for employers and trade union colleagues to work together to achieve this.