Third of large firms use health and wellness benefits to improve attendance

Health and wellness benefits can help motivate employees as well as improve their health, contributing to reduced absence rates in large and small firms alike.

New research for Group Risk Development (GRiD) shows that almost a third (32%) of UK organisations with 250 or more employees use health and wellness promotions to control absence levels and improve attendance, making this the most popular method among larger employers, Employee Benefits reports.

Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are the second most popular measure for reducing absence in large firms, cited by 24%, while 23% use flexible working and another 23% use stress counselling.

Market research firm Opinium conducted the study on behalf of GRiD, surveying 500 HR decision makers within 500 UK organisations.

Smaller firms were found to be more likely to use flexible working, with its popularity rising to 35% among those with between one and 249 workers.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, commented: “The larger the workforce, the easier it is to offer flexible working but the harder it is to monitor it. If smaller [organisations] are making this work as an absence-management solution though, there is no reason why larger [employers] couldn´t do the same.”

At micro-organisations, with fewer than nine employees, flexible working is by far the most common method of improving attendance, cited by 38%, with health and wellness promotions coming in at 11%.

Return-to-work interviews are among the least common methods at firms of all sizes, being used by only 13% of large employers, 17% of small to medium organisations, and 5% of micro-employers.

“It´s evident in these figures that smaller and larger organisations take a very different approach to managing absence, and whilst that is perhaps to be expected, an area where all could benefit is by better utilising the support that exists for employers, line managers and employees at no extra cost within group risk products,” Moxham concluded.

Posted on August 28th 2018

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