Two fifths of UK employees feel health and welfare benefits have increased in importance as a consequence of NHS cuts, a recent study has revealed.
However, despite this revelation, 53 per cent of those questioned admit their employer is making no provision to look after staff wellbeing.
The research1, conducted by global research consultancy TNS on behalf of PMI Health Group, also discovered three-quarters of those surveyed are not encouraged by their employer to participate in voluntary health and wellbeing activities.
“Increasing restrictions on treatments and longer waiting lists in state healthcare will eventually see businesses suffering at the hands of NHS budget cuts,” said Mike Blake, Director at PMI Health Group.
“With resulting higher levels of staff absenteeism, it is now more important than ever for employers to look after the wellbeing of their workforce and guard against NHS shortcomings using employee benefits.”
According to the study, workers in the south receive better health and wellbeing care from their employers, with 41 per cent offered health benefits in contrast to just 26 per cent in the north.
“The geographical variation in healthcare provision demonstrates a clear north-south divide in attitudes towards staff health. This could be explained by a higher concentration of large corporate employers in Greater London which may have more resources for wellbeing programmes.”
Traditional initiatives such as cycle to work schemes (44 per cent) and stress management (36 per cent), proved most popular as a means for improving workplace health. Other initiatives employed by companies include free fruit (21 per cent), massages (14 per cent) and allowing pets into the office (four per cent).
Mike added: “Health initiatives needn’t be expensive – hybrid health policies, simple wellbeing programmes and low-cost, high value schemes such as cash plans can offer affordable tools to help improve employee health and reduce sickness absence.”
1The research was conducted online by global research consultancy TNS Omnibus among 600 adults, aged 16-64, who are currently in full or part-time employment in Great Britain. The interviewed sample was weighted to represent the adult population of Great Britain.