64% of Canadian staff feel their employer supports their physical health

Less than two-thirds (64%) of respondents in Canada feel their employer supports their physical health, according to research by Sun Life Financial.

Its 2016 Sun Life Canadian health index, which surveyed 2,402 Canadians aged between 18 and 80, also found that 58% of respondents feel that their employer supports their mental and emotional health.

The research also found:

  • 46% of respondents would participate¬†in¬†employer-provided education programmes for mental health and stress reduction.
  • 77% of respondents feel that all Canadian employees are entitled to receive a health benefits plan sponsored by their employer.
  • 26% of respondents believe their employer provides programmes or initiatives¬†that¬†promote¬†health and wellbeing¬†in the workplace.
  • 49% of respondents would participate if their employer provided an on-site gym or fitness equipment, 48% would take part in on-site fitness activities, and 45% would utilise a subsidised gym membership.
  • 38% of respondents would make use of mental health manager training if it was provided by their employer, and 37% would use an employee assistance programme (EAP) or confidential counselling services.
  • 12% of respondents strongly agree that they would feel comfortable discussing a physical health problem with their employer, and¬†23% strongly disagree.
  • 8% of respondents strongly agree that they would feel comfortable talking to their employer about their mental or emotional health, and¬†32% of respondents strongly disagree.
  • 58% of respondents would participate if their employer provided incentives for fitness or healthy behaviour, and 52% would participate in employer-provided education programmes.

Brigitte Parent, senior vice president, group benefits at Sun Life Financial Canada, said: “Workplace health benefits play an essential part in our healthcare system because they help Canadians pay for medical expenses that aren’t typically covered by their provincial plan, covering nearly $30 billion per year in healthcare expenditures. Canadians and their families have come to depend on these health benefits [because] they provide tremendous support towards their physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

‚ÄúAlthough employees are at different stages of their life, what they want, need and value from a group benefits plan is, in many cases, quite similar. With growing diversity in the workplace and increasing expectations of personalisation, flexibility and customisation are key to ensuring employees are getting what they want and need from their benefits package.‚ÄĚ