1.1 A national context
This course was developed with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the public body operating between the Welsh Government and higher education providers, so it’s mainly the Welsh national context that will be referred to here. Your own nation may have different aspirations or targets for improving wellness and inclusion in the workplace.
In Wales, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015:
requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.
The Act contains seven goals to improve the social economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales – but the areas they cover could apply equally to other nations. The goals are shown in Figure 1 and described in Table 1.
A Prosperous Wales
An innovative, productive, and low carbon society that recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change); and which develops a skilled and well-educated population in an economy that generates wealth and provides employment opportunities, allowing people to take advantage of the wealth generated through securing decent work.
A Resilient Wales
A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change.
A More Equal Wales
A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio-economic circumstances).
A Healthier Wales
A society in which people’s physical and mental wellbeing is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood.
A Wales of Cohesive Communities
Attractive, safe, viable and well-connected.
A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Thriving Welsh Language
A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage, and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, and sports and recreation.
A Globally Responsible Wales
A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global wellbeing.
The two goals that most naturally relate to this course are ‘A Healthier Wales’ (for wellbeing) and ‘A More Equal Wales’ (for inclusion), and resources associated with these goals will be highlighted at appropriate points throughout the course, particularly what the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales (2022b) calls ‘Simple Changes’. Look out for the boxes throughout the course containing links to these resources. The other goals won’t be explicitly addressed, but as you work through the course, try to reflect on how the topics covered could link to them.
A healthier Wales
The ‘A Healthier Wales’ goal is defined in Table 1. This goal will be explored from different perspectives in this course, with a particular focus on the impact of remote and hybrid working on mental and physical wellbeing.
A more equal Wales
The ‘A More Equal Wales’ goal is also defined in Table 1. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 suggests that this goal could be realised by:
achieving more diversity in our decision-makers and our broader workforce, and ensuring that organisations in Wales are taking preventative, integrated approaches to end poverty and reduce inequalities.
This course will explore how to improve workplace diversity, equality and equity, and identify some of the benefits such improvements could bring to your organisation.