51% of employers view mental health as biggest threat to staff health

Chris Horlick

Around half (51%) of employer respondents believe that mental health conditions are the biggest threat to their employees’ health over the next five years, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare.

Its study of 1,000 managers in organisations employing 50 or more staff, also found that 78% of respondents feel they have some responsibility for their employees’ health.

The research also found:

  • 44% of respondents believe obesity or a high body mass index is the biggest threat to employee health over the next five years, while 30% feel high blood pressure poses the greatest risk.
  • 74% of respondents work for a business that has an employee health and wellbeing strategy in place.
  • 67% of respondents think that technology will play an increasingly important part in their organisation’s health and wellbeing strategy over the next five years.
  • 58% of respondents which do not currently have a health and wellbeing strategy in place are planning to introduce one within the next few years.

Chris Horlick (pictured), distribution director at Axa PPP Healthcare, said: “Employee wellbeing is one factor employers can do something about; and [it is] well worth doing so [because] employees who are mentally and physically well will have the resilience to drive better business performance.

“To achieve this, it’s important for employers to consider their workforce as a whole and introduce health and wellbeing strategies that also tackle any specific health needs.

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“It’s essential to provide solutions that support healthy, active lives and, for employees who should become ill or injured, provide early access to investigation and treatment for an early recovery and return to work.

“The extent of employers’ interest in employee health and wellbeing and their acknowledgment that they have some responsibility for employee health are both welcome findings. The challenge is to turn this goodwill into meaningful action through a more strategic approach to health and wellbeing management programmes that deliver measurable, sustainable benefits to employees and employers alike.”