Health and wellbeing supplement November 2007

Health%20and%20Wellbeing%20supplement%20coverKeep abreast of developing trends
Create engagement with wellbeing
Keep attendance levels up to avoid ills
Clear agenda may be fit for purpose
Bring health services all under one roof
Health and wellbeing perks for PricewaterhouseCoopers staff

Sponsor’s Comment: Wellbeing trends look healthy

Healthcare is a costly business for employers and could become more so as the government tries to enlist the help of industry to alleviate its responsibility for the long-term sick and increasing NHS deficiencies mean private treatment is often necessary for rapid relief.

When staff are off sick this has an impact on productivity and can be demotivating for colleagues left to pick up the workload if the employer does not go to the expense of bringing in extra cover.

According to the CBI/Axa Absence and labour turnover survey 2007, sickness absence costs the UK economy over £13bn a year. It makes sense, therefore, for employers to consider an all-encompassing health and wellbeing strategy that not only provides treatment at the earliest opportunity to help get staff back to work but also prevents sickness absence occurring in the first place.

Many employers are coming round to this way of thinking. And a wellbeing programme does not have to cost the earth. Employers can implement low-cost initiatives such as providing staff with access to information on exercise and dietary needs and helping to organise running sessions. Some employers may even find that by taking a tougher line with existing healthcare providers they can negotiate the provision of extra perks that help promote wellbeing in the workplace. These may even, in the long term, help reduce the cost of premiums for hardcore benefits such as private medical insurance.

Amanda Wilkinson, Editor