Cass academics call for NHS Covid-19 risk calculator to help workplaces understand employee risk level

Employer guidance published by the Government does not give individuals enough information about their personal risk factors, according to Cass policy paper

A new policy paper co-authored by Cass Business School academics has called for the creation of an NHS-owned Covid-19 Risk Calculator to inform employers about individual employee risk factors.

Why we need an NHS “COVID-19 Risk Calculator, co-authored by Dr Amanda Goodall, Associate Professor of Management and Professor Caroline Wiertz, Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship at Cass Business School, along with Ruth Mc Cabe, critical care doctor and member of the Education & Training Faculty at NHS Nightingale in London, urges the formation of the calculator to inform safe organisational return to work policies.

It would be used to determine the personal risk profiles of all employees, taking the following factors into account:

  • medical conditions
  • age
  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • socio-economic background
  • geographic location
  • population density
  • lifestyle and diet
  • infection precautions

Based on individuals’ risk profiles, the tool should also provide tailored information about possible lifestyle and health modifications for workers and their organisations, as well as lending guidance to local charities and volunteers.

It should also contain up-to-date available information from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and include weekly data from actual Covid-19 deaths, making it possible to understand the breadth of risk factors more fully.

Dr Amanda Goodall said:

“Individuals need to know their own risk if they are to negotiate openly with their employer and vice versa. We need a trusted and transparent risk calculator to help people make the right and safest decisions. It will help everyone.

“Currently, the NHS Website publishes two levels of risk from Covid-19: the ‘high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)’ who are advised to shield, and the ‘moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)’ who are advised to follow the same current government advice as everyone else.

“The NHS website does not currently factor in ethnicity, sex or social deprivation, yet we know that being male, a member of an ethnic minority group, and being socially deprived are recognised risk factors."

“These significant omissions need to be accounted for if we are going to successfully lift restrictions, and if the workplace is going to be a safe and productive environment to return to.”

Read a full copy of the Why we need an NHS “COVID-19 Risk Calculator” policy paper.

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