Health and wellbeing is becoming core business issue for FTSE100 companies.

Health and wellbeing is becoming a core business issue for FTSE 100 companies, with growing importance for both employers and staff, according to research conducted by Business Action on Health. 

The group’s 2008 report Nurture your people and grow your business, published today (October 7) to mark the first anniversary of its campaign to improve health in the workplace, found that 81% of the UK’s biggest companies publicly report any commitment or activity to increase the health and wellbeing of their employees, up from 68% in 2007.

And 83% of workers consider prospective employers’ attitudes towards health an important factor when applying for work.

Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “Since the launch of the campaign in October 2007, health and wellbeing has become increasingly important, not only as part of the HR and corporate social responsibility agendas, but as a core business issue for UK business leaders.”

The research also shows that 40 of the top 100 companies report on the health and wellbeing of their employees in their annual report.

And two thirds include these details in their corporate responsibility or sustainability reports.
There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of FTSE100 companies reporting on their progress on health and wellbeing using quantitative measures up from seven last year to 23 in 2008.

Employers are now measuring key indicators of health and wellbeing, such as levels of absenteeism, and reporting statistically on the impact of company programmes. Louise Aston, campaign director at Business Action on Health, wants to see 75% more employers measuring and reporting absence by 2011.

Health and wellbeing programmes are also becoming a vital weapon in the battle for talent. According to YouGov research commissioned by Business Action on Health, six in 10 workers would consider leaving employers who fail to address workplace health and wellbeing.

Aston said: “Significant milestones have been reached over the past year and the issue of health and wellbeing in the workplace has, it seems, finally reached its tipping point. However, we still have a long way to go and ambitious targets to meet.”