Health & Wellbeing: Comment by Debbie Lovewell, deputy editor

Despite the continuing pressure on employers to cut costs, taking steps to maintain employees’ health and wellbeing is more important than ever.

Not only are staff often under increased pressure following redundancies, but employers would be wise to look after those left behind to be sure of having an engaged and motivated workforce when the upturn begins.

There are a number of steps employers can take to achieve this, and they do not need to come at a high price. Rebroking benefits or reviewing the basis on which they are offered to staff can bring significant savings for organisations, for example.

Being able to demonstrate the return on investment on providing health and wellbeing benefits for staff remains a key issue for many employers. Although this can be difficult to achieve, particularly around some of the softer wellbeing perks, the long-term advantages in improving overall employee wellbeing should not be overlooked. For instance, healthier staff may be less likely to need to use some of the costlier benefits, such as private medical insurance, to treat conditions that may have been preventable.

Even if employees do go off sick, having benefits in place to help them return to the workplace as quickly as possible can also prove cost-efficient to the employer in the long run.

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