Most respondents feel unsupported by their employer

Nine out of 10 (90%) employees who have recently struggled with personal problems did not receive support in dealing with them from their employer, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.

The research found that 45% of respondents struggled with personal or health problems over the past three years, yet only a small minority received any help or assistance from their employer.

The research also found:

  • 10% said they were allowed to work flexible hours in order to manage their stress or problems.
  • 9% said they were provided with access to someone who they could talk to about the issues troubling them.
  • 5% said their workplace actively encourages them to eat healthily.
  • 65% said they would like the ability to work flexible hours and store up time in lieu, in order to run personal errands.
  • 28% said they would like their employer to provide a subsidised gym membership to allow them to exercise more.
  • 19% said they would like the opportunity to join healthy-living clubs, such as ones promoting exercise or weight loss, through their workplace.

Paul Avis, sales and marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “Many employees will have experienced health or personal problems over the past few years that have led to them taking time off from work, whether a few days or a longer period of absence.

“There are measures that employers could take to help employees to manage these problems before they become a cause for absence.

“Many employee assistance programmes include access to specialist advice or counsel, which would help employees to manage stress or personal problems, while some group income protection packages provide employees with access to medical advice, all of which can alleviate the pressure on employees and help to keep them in the workplace.

“With so few employees appearing to be given support with flexible working practices and maintaining a healthy diet, there is a clear opportunity for employers to set themselves apart and show how much they care about their employees’ welfare.

“A few small steps in this direction can cost very little but make a very big difference.”

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