Health & Wellbeing
Happy and healthy staff are more engaged and productive which is good for your people and the business. Healthy workplaces help people to flourish.
Your staff are your most valuable asset. Keeping them well and in work is vital so that your business can grow and prosper. Embedding wellbeing practices into your everyday business activity will help increase resilience, prevent ill-health and the absences that come with this, as well as improving productivity and performance. Quite simply it makes good business sense.
Changes to the workplace to promote wellbeing, alongside addressing mental and physical health issues, increases resilience to stress, boosts employee engagement, reduces sickness and absence and encourages higher performance and productivity.
We have pulled together a range of information and resources that will assist you in building your own company strategy to promote wellbeing and create a healthy workplace.
Promoting a healthy and active workforce
There are many ways an active lifestyle is beneficial. It supports physical and mental wellbeing, reduces health problems and decreases stress levels. According to research by the British Heart Foundation, physically active employees take 27% less sick days than those who are inactive. The financial benefits of workplace activity for employers are substantial.
Most office-based workers spend at least six to eight hours sitting down and doing this over a long period of time can cause disease and health conditions that result in time off for hospital appointments and sick leave.
There are a number of things that you can do to build a healthier workplace:
- Encourage employees to take the stairs
- Offer discounted gym memberships
- Organise office walks or collective workouts
- Motivate people with an activity tracker - encourage friendly competition across teams!
- Encourage healthy eating
- Offer Cycle to Work Schemes and promote local Cycling Schemes
- Health and Wellbeing at Work Summary Toolkit from Business in the Community
- East Riding Health and Wellbeing - Information on anything from NHS Health Checks, Covid-19, quitting smoking to sports and recreation centre
- How to implement healthy eating habits in the workplace
- A Physical Activity, Healthy Eating and Healthier Weight: A Toolkit For Employers from Business in the Community
- Sleep and Recovery Toolkit from Business in the Community which highlights the importance of sleep quality and recovery to your employees
- A Musculoskeletal Health Toolkit from Business in the Community
Supporting financial wellbeing
Financial wellbeing of staff is one factor that can prevent a high turnover of staff and job dissatisfaction, which leads to low attendance, higher levels of presenteeism and low productivity.
Offering fair pay and benefits, such as workplace pensions and sick pay shows employee commitment. Being aware of financial support available for staff is also important. The following information and resources will help you and employees:
Employee financial support
- 5 ways to support the financial wellbeing of your employees
- Information on supporting employee financial wellbeing from the CIPD including the business case for supporting financial wellbeing and getting started
- Support for employees with money concerns through Money Helper
- Supporting employee saving through HEY Credit Union's Payroll Save & Borrow
- Guidance on how to Set up and manage a workplace pension scheme
Supporting working carers
There is an estimated five million people who juggle work and care in the UK. That means in every workplace, one in seven people could be supporting someone else, who maybe older, ill or disabled as well as holding down employment. Balancing the two can be extremely challenging, so it is no wonder one in six people leave their jobs, and these people – usually aged between 45 – 65 are likely to be the staff with the most experience and at the peak of their careers.
Supporting them as much as possible makes more sense than replacing and retraining.
Schemes such as Carer Confident offers support for employers to help and retain their staff and recognises employers who make a difference to their staff with a certificate of achievement, which gives staff the confidence to stay in their position at work should their home situation change.
Alcohol and substance abuse
Every employer has a legal responsibility to their staff’s health and wellbeing. Realising someone on the team has an issue with alcohol or substance abuse can be worrying and difficult to raise. It may also bring workplace stresses and other issues to light.
It is important to know the effects of substance abuse, so if someone’s health seems to be deteriorating, as an employer you can step in and offer support.
- ReNew operates to support people with substance and alcohol abuse in Hull
- The East Riding Partnership's Drug and Drug and Alcohol Services is an NHS service which operates across Hull and East Yorkshire with offices in Hull, Goole and Bridlington
- Journey 2 Recovery is based in the Wilberforce Health Centre, Storey Street, Hull: 01482 335331
The other side of supporting someone in your employment with a addiction is ensuing they are safe and that your other staff are too. Unison offers information about undertaking workplace risk assessments and organisations such as Alcohol Change UK provide training and consultancy for employers.
The Health and Safety Executive also provides risk assessment templates to support employers navigate support and intervention.
The pandemic saw a sharp rise in the number of men and women suffering domestic abuse and violence. Between March 2019 and March 2020 1.6 million women and 757,000 men had experienced domestic abuse. (Source The Crime Survey for England and Wales).
Office for National Statistics (ONS) report that in mid-May 2020, there was a 12% increase in the number of domestic abuse cases referred to victim support. Between April and June 2020, there was a 65% increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, when compared to the first three months of that year.
Since these figures were released the Government released a review about supporting victims of domestic abuse in the workplace. It focuses on three themes; raising awareness, building and sharing best practice and the role of employment rights. For a copy of the report click here.
- Domestic Abuse: A Toolkit for Employers from Business in the Community
- Hull City Council offers a range of support, advice and information on domestic violence
- Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership offers support to victims of domestic violence as well as offering advice to those supporting victims
- Until March 2023 free training in domestic abuse awareness is available for SMEs through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme.
So far there is no legal requirement to support people of menopausal age in the workplace. However, as the average age of the workforce rises, employers should consider their moral obligation to support them and keep them in work.
Not only this, but the menopause - although not a protected characteristic - can be covered under age, disability, gender reassignment and sex, so as we move forward incorporating an older workforce, it is everyone's responsibility to know more about this stage in life and to help break the taboo.
- The NHS Employer website has guidelines and advice on how it supports its workforce, which is transferable to any business
- ACAS offers support with menopause and the law and advice on managing this in the workplace to ensure staff are supported and productivity is not impacted
- Menopause in the Workplace - a toolkit for employers from Business in the Community
- Vodafone has also put together a Menopause Toolkit
- Menopause at work - Employees is a toolkit provided by the civil service to employees which can be a useful transferable resource