Healthy Workplace – a subject fit for a breakfast seminar

Featuring Richard Wadman | 14th March, 2019

Some may question why as a firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, we are looking to host a breakfast briefing on the topic of a ‘healthy workplace’. However, it is a topic that we as a firm feel strongly about and are committed to creating a healthy workplace for our team members which as a result, has many benefits. So much so that in 2016, our Truro office was crowned ‘Active Workplace of the Year’. In addition, we also believe that it comes as part of our role as ‘business advisers’. It is a topic that can be overlooked by businesses, but much like cyber security and GDPR, a healthy workplace can have an impact on your business.

Facts and finances

Now this is not my area of expertise, but here are a few facts I have lifted from one of the contributors, Healthy Cornwall, to our breakfast event’s website:

  • Physical activity programmes at work have been found to reduce absenteeism by up to 20%: physically active workers take 27% fewer sick days. (Start Active, Stay Active) and Average [annual] cost of absence per employee was £666 [CIPD 2008].
  • The total cost to employers due to mental health problems among their staff is estimated at nearly £26 billion each year. That is equivalent to £1,035 for every employee in the UK workforce.
  • Where occupational health was provided, 39% of companies recorded a decline in short-term absence, whilst 28% experienced a reduction in long-term absence [CIPD 2008].
  • According to HSE, 36 million days were lost in 2008 as a result of work-related ill health or workplace injury. The worst performing organisations lost an average of 12 working days per employee [CBI/AXA].
  • The annual cost of sickness absence and worklessness associated with working-age ill health in the UK is put at more than £100 billion (more than Portugal’s GDP).

And it is not only amount costs directly associated with absenteeism.  One of the “case studies on the Healthy Cornwall website refers to reduced recruitment agent costs as a result of people being attracted to work at that company by some of the Healthy Workplace initiatives they introduced.  There is alsoprofit impact as indicated by the study of FTSE-100 companies conducted by Business in the Community (BITC) and Ipsos Mori, found that firms that actively promoted staff well-being and workplace health policies, recorded a ten per cent boost in their financial performance”.

This is a current issue

Whilst some of the references above are ‘old, this area is very much a current issue with, for example, my colleague receiving an invite to an event with the strap line: “The recently published independent review, ‘Thriving at Work’, shows there are more people at work with mental health conditions than ever before. In addition to the human cost, it is estimated that the financial consequences to employers is between £33 billion and £42 billion annually. Westminster Insight’s Managing Mental Health in the Workplace Conference will unite senior decision makers from the public and private sector, with discussions focused around the importance of culture change and the stigma that surrounds mental health.”

Our breakfast event

In addition to providing facts and figures similar to the above, we will also be offering practical measures and support in ‘creating a healthy workplace’.

I am sure our contribution to the presentation at the forthcoming breakfast will include an update on what we have been doing since our award winning year in 2016 and also our pride in picking up that award!

For more details on the breakfast event and to book a place please click here.

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