Responsibility for workplace health should be shared

EXCLUSIVE: Nearly 80% of respondents believe the responsibility for managing staff health and wellbeing should be shared between employer and employee, according to research by health insurance provider Westfield Health.


Its Employee view – health and wellbeing in the workplace research, which surveyed 1,500 UK adults, found that only 7% of respondents felt it was solely the employer’s responsibility.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents said that knowing their employer cares about their health would make them more likely to be satisfied, loyal and motivated in the workplace.

The research also found:

  • 75% of respondents are engaged with the health and wellbeing benefits provided to them in the workplace, while 15% said they do not have the time to engage.
  • 46% of respondents would engage more with workplace health and wellbeing initiatives if their employer asked them what they would like.
  • 41% of respondents said their working environment has a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, while 49% said it had no negative effect.
  • 30% of respondents would like to receive better communication in the workplace about the types of wellbeing programmes on offer to them.

Paul Shires (pictured), executive director of Westfield Health, said: “The research we’ve conducted provides an interesting snapshot of the views, beliefs and hopes of the modern employee when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

“Three-quarters of employees recognise unhealthy lifestyles reduce productivity and performance at work. But workers are equally keen to see their employer accept some responsibility in what could be described as a health ‘job share’.

“Our research found that 74% of respondents agreed it’s important for health and wellbeing to be promoted and supported, so it’s encouraging our survey found a similar figure are also already engaging with what is provided to them in the workplace. But more can be done by employers to encourage higher usage levels.

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“Nearly half of employees said if they were asked about what health and wellbeing programmes they would like, it would result in greater levels of engagement.

“It’s clear that employers that adhere to the three Cs – consult, communicate and care – are going to have a healthier and happier workforce as a result.”