Health secretary Matt Hancock has called on employers to do more to get staff healthy. He launched a government strategy at the beginning of November (5th November 2018), Prevention is Better than Cure, that aims to get companies more involved in the wellbeing of their workforces, alongside other plans to improve the UK’s health.
The proposed strategy says that employers can help employees “with messages encouraging healthy lifestyles, including advice on smoking, eating healthily and staying active”
What does it mean for business?
While the government’s paper acknowledges that many employers already support staff wellbeing, it wants more organisations to get involved and to strengthen links between business and the NHS.
There are many ways that employers can help improve staff’s physical, mental and financial wellbeing, from insurance benefits such as group income protection to simply signposting staff towards public health campaigns online.
However, as other research this month has shown, employers and employees may need to get a better understanding of what makes a healthy workplace. Research published in the journal Occupational Medicine showed that even if employees are active outside work, sitting still for prolonged periods of time during the day could still put staff at risk of chronic health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and strokes. However, very few employees or managers saw this as a health risk.
Workplace wellbeing achieves the best results when employee benefits are delivered as part of a clear, well communicated strategy. Please contact your Brunsdon Financial Adviser if you require further information on any aspect of workplace health insurance benefits or employee engagement.
Please note that this article does not constitute specific advice. Any information in this article regarding our understanding of current UK Legislation may be subject to change (November 2018). Brunsdon is not responsible for the content of third party web sites.