According to new research from Vitality’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study, it reveals that 3/4 of illness-related absence in 2018 had come from factors such as poor lifestyle choices, stress, and depression. This equates to £61bn and all of these factors can be targeted by businesses through health and well-being initiatives.
This research, which was developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, shows that UK businesses had lost the equivalent of £81bn as a result of illness-related absence at work in 2018. This was found to be an increase of £4bn from the previous year, 2017. The research also showed that on average, employers may lose 35.6 working days per employee per year due to illness-related absence.
The study found that the companies with the best results had a 30-40% reduction in productivity loss being linked to illness when compared to other companies that were in the survey. The involvement of the business was shown to have a noticeable effect on their employee’s well-being and health and the top performing businesses all had characteristics in common. These characteristics include promoting a culture of health, having proficient managers that support employees and have good awareness and participation in their health programmes.
One of the significant causes of productivity loss was found to be mental health. This accounted for £38bn of the total cost to businesses in 2018 and £17.2bn was caused directly by workplace stress, a factor which businesses can address through appropriate initiatives. The data showed that 83% of people that used one-to-one coaching in order to support mental health had found it to be impactful. 73% of people had said the same of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In another instance, 83% of people that used massage or relaxation classes had also said that it had an impact on their mental health.
Despite this, the research showed that there were low awareness and engagement with these initiatives. Although 67% of employees have access to mental health initiatives, only 26% of them claim to have known about these initiatives that the business offers. In addition to this, once the employees are aware, only 18% of people participated in these programmes. This demonstrates that employers need to raise awareness about the health and well-being initiatives at work and employees also need to participate to maximise the impact.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
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