Hertfordshire employers experience new Public Health Workplace wellbeing offer

Business in the Community in partnership with the Public Health team at Hertfordshire County Council were joined by more than 75 local businesses to mark the launch of their Workplace offer on 26 March 2014.

The pilot fitted well with our existing employee wellbeing strategy, I was keen to underpin this with the public health offers, the mini MOTs were a great opportunity to give staff more awareness of their own health and to be signposted to appropriate support

- Barry Thompson,
Senior Group Health & Safety Advisor-RES group
Keeping employees healthy and happy pays dividends for employers in terms of productivity and reduced sickness absence, and helps employees reduce the risk of disease and disability. Most avoidable ill health has its seeds sown during working age.

It is estimated that:

  • Last year UK Employers spent £13bn on 172 million working days lost due to sickness absence

  • Almost one in four people will suffer from mental health issues at some point during their lifetime

Jim McManus, Director of Public Health, Hertfordshire County Council commented "Our workplace offer is intended to help employees stay healthy and businesses keep productive".

The event in partnership gave delegates an insight into the free wellbeing support available to employers locally. Jim McManus, Director of Public Health, Herfordshire County Council, led the event giving employers an understanding of the health inequalities within Hertfordshire and the impact employees’ wellbeing had on business productivity.

Business case studies were shared by Paul Winter, Chief Executive of Ipswich Building Society, and Barry Thompson, Senior Group Health and Safety Advisor from Kings Langley based RES group.

Paul talked to delegates about his support of the Employee Wellbeing project, Business Action on Public Health and its success at working with over 200 businesses across the East of England.

Paul Winter, Chief Executive of Ipswich Building Society commented "Through improved employee wellbeing, Ipswich Building Society had reduced their staff sickness level for 2013 to 1.4%, less than half the industry average of 3.3%".

The RES group showcased the support they had received through the Hertfordshire work place pilot, where staff benefited from a variety of wellbeing interventions, including 24 staff who had mini MOTs to help them better understand their BMI, blood pressure, weight and their impact on conditions such as type 2 diabetes.

Barry Thompson, Senior Group Health & Safety Advisor-RES group commented "The Hertfordshire workplace pilot fitted well with our existing employee wellbeing strategy, I was keen to underpin this with the public health offers, the mini MOTs were a great opportunity to give staff more awareness of their own health and to be signposted to appropriate support".

Delegates were able to experience the new workplace offer through a variety of workshops including musculoskeletal, physical activity, mental wellbeing and sustaining a wellbeing strategy through Workplace Health Champions.

All the information on the free offers is in the Hertfordshire workplace brochure - copies available through publichealth@hertfordshire.gov.uk.