31% of Canadian employers plan to invest more in health and wellbeing

Just under a third (31%) of employer respondents in Canada intend to invest more in employee wellbeing and health education over the next year, according to research by healthcare organisation Sanofi.

The 2017 Sanofi Canada healthcare survey, which surveyed 1,500 adults in Canada who are the primary holders of employee health benefit plans and 461 Canadian employers that sponsor health benefit plans, also found that half (51%) of employer respondents offer specific wellbeing programmes or policies, such as on-site flu injections or flexible working.

The research also found:

  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of employer respondents believe their corporate culture encourages wellness.
  • 53% of employee respondents feel that their current work environment and culture encourages wellbeing.
  • 50% of employee respondents agree that their employer helps staff to manage stress effectively.
  • More than one-fifth (22%) of employee respondents believe that the workplace has a negative impact on their ability to manage stress, 16% feel the workplace negatively impacts sleep, and 9% think it has an adverse effect on healthy eating.
  • 31% of employee respondents report feeling physically ill over the last year because of workplace stress.
  • Almost half (49%) of employee respondents find it increasingly difficult to balance work and life responsibilities.
  • 31% of employer respondents offer health spending accounts, which provide staff with a set allowance to put towards health-related services and products.
  • 77% of employee respondents have a traditional health plan with a defined level of coverage, and 54% would prefer to have a flexible plan that allows them to choose the type and level of coverage.

Niven Al-Khoury, president at Sanofi Canada, said: “We have witnessed major changes in the Canadian workplace over the past 20 years, but the value that employees place in their health benefit plans has remained constant. We all share in a vision to improve the health and productivity of the Canadian workforce, which, in turn, helps ensure the sustainability of our healthcare system.”