Q: In today’s economic climate wouldn’t the Board see it as a luxury?

A: Employers have a legal duty of care to their employees and it costs you more money if you get it wrong.  When you look at the benefits vs the costs to your business from absenteeism alone, employee wellbeing shouldn’t be regarded as a luxury, but a necessity.  The total number of cases of stress in 2011/12 was 428,000 (40%) out of a total of 1,073,000 for all work-related illnesses.


Q: Our absenteeism rates seem to be decreasing so why do we need this.

A: Research from CIPD (June2012) shows that falls in levels of absenteeism coincide with almost a third of employers reporting an increase in the number of people going into work ill.  The threat of redundancies and concerns over job security are shown to contribute to such ‘presenteeism’. Aside from the stress and ill health implications to the employee,  presenteeism is estimated to cost a business 1.5x more than absenteeism.


Q: Does exercise impact productivity?

A: In a recent poll for Fitbit (2013) it showed that 48% of employees felt more stimulated and constructive after going for a 30 minute walk during their lunch break.  Think how that could impact your bottom line!

Q:  What’s the difference between Health & Safety and a Wellness programme?

A: Health & Safety was originally established to address accident and injury prevention within the workplace in a much more industrial era.  Since then our working practises have changed to become ever more sedentary.  This is  directly leading to an increase in chronic disease and rising costs to the NHS, as well as businesses.  HSE is changing and now includes looking after the wellness of employees, and there will be stricter compliance guidelines around this over the next few years.


Q:  Why isn’t corporate wellness big in the UK?

A: UK businesses increasingly believe the key to a successful business is a healthy workforce but haven’t really established their own clear understanding of what a wellness programme could involve and how it fits into strategy. The UK is slowly coming around to it with changing demographics, rising costs in ill health, plus external influences such as CSR and government compliance.  Corporate wellness is an integral part of company strategies in the US, Australia, mainland Europe.  Next it’s the UK!