Select Your Cookie Preferences

We use cookies and similar tools that are necessary to enable you to use our website, to enhance your experience, and provide our services, as detailed in our Cookie Notice. We also use these cookies to understand how customers use our services (for example, by measuring site visits) so we can make improvements.

If you agree, we'll also use cookies to complement your website experience, as described in our Cookie Notice. This may include using third party cookies for the purpose of displaying and measuring interest-based ads. Click "Customise Cookies" to decline these cookies, make more detailed choices, or learn more.

Employers planning to invest more in employee health

Three employees sitting together in the office

Almost two years into a global pandemic, and with more and more people working past the traditional retirement age, employee health and wellbeing are under the spotlight like never before.

It makes business sense for employers to support their workers when it comes to both physical and mental health. The latest official data shows that 32.5 million working days in the UK were lost to work-related ill health in 2019/20, with stress, anxiety and depression accounting for almost 18 million of these.

A focus on employee health and wellbeing should be a core element of any HR strategy and not simply consist of one-off initiatives, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

As well as benefiting employees, an integrated approach to wellbeing can increase employee engagement, fostering a joint commitment to organisational success, the HR body explains.

There are signs that a growing number of businesses are on board with this approach, with a new global survey by International SOS showing that organisations around the world are planning to increase their investment in employee health.

The annual survey of nearly 1,000 risk professionals across 75 countries, coupled with insight from the Workforce Resilience Council and International SOS proprietary data, indicates that both mental and physical health support will see increased investment. In fact, over half (56%) of organisations intend to increase spending on both.

Employees' needs vary, and for older workers the priority is physical health and wellbeing rather than mental health, according to a separate separate survey by GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector.

UK employers believe that baby boomers -- the generation born from 1946 to 1964 (aged 57-75) -- have the least amount of stress and anxiety relating to their work life, home life and their finances but are more likely to have concerns regarding their physical health and fitness.

GRiD highlighted the fact that many employee benefits, including group risk (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness), have extra supportive benefits built in to them which mean employers can access specific help for their staff without having to pay any additional costs. These can include doctor- or nurse-led support services which can help diagnose a problem at an early stage, meaning staff can receive early intervention support which could prevent an illness or health concern becoming more serious. Support can also include access to apps to measure, monitor and improve health and fitness, as well as physio, virtual GPs, tailored help for chronic conditions, and second medical opinion -- all benefits that may be of particular benefit to older staff.

"With many experts predicting 2022 will be the year of the 'great resignation' organisations must act to ensure they provide the necessary support for employees," said Dr Neil Nerwich, group medical director at International SOS.

"Investing in both emotional health and physical wellness support will be essential for employee retention. This will also help to avoid a vicious cycle of productivity issues."

Posted by Fidelius on December 13th 2021

Loading... Updating page...