Ove Arup looks for value in occupational health

Consultant engineering group Ove Arup wants to see more value from the £3 million a year it spends on health and wellbeing, a large proportion of which is on occupational health (OH).

Head of reward Evan Davidge says: “We feel we need to take a more holistic approach. Our current approach is fragmented and we are not realising the value from our spend. OH tends to be dealt with first within health and safety, where the teams work with the business areas, but on the other side there is employee benefits, with the healthcare plans and group income protection and life insurance. Less attention is paid on early intervention and health education.”

Davidge says that, working with Xafinity Consulting, Ove Arup is taking a more proactive approach than it has in the past. Its aim is for employees to take more shared responsibility, and to provide them with a framework and tools to do that through healthcare benefits and health education.

“We want a kind of one-stop shop and we want to integrate all the data into a single management information dashboard,” says Davidge.

He hopes that the new programme, which will also include pre-employment assessments and the introduction of formal sabbaticals to help reduce presenteeism, will reduce the organisation’s absence figures by 20%. 

“We want to reduce our health risk profile with a commensurate reduction in group risk benefit,” he adds.