Health of workers is not a priority for employers, survey shows

UK employers don’t care about the wellbeing of their staff, which in turn is reducing the country’s productivity, research has found.

A survey commissioned by Business In The Community (BITC) found that one-third of workers feel their health is neglected at work, while six in 10 believe their employer does not regard employees as assets worthy of investment.

Almost half of staff surveyed claim employer apathy about employee wellbeing has taken its toll on workplace productivity, with 55% of respondents complaining of stress,depression (38%) and panic attacks (22%).

Forty-four per cent of reposndents said they were discouraged from taking days off when unwell.

BITC has called for three-quarters of all FTSE 100 companies to publicly report on employee wellbeing by 2011.

Stephen Howard, managing director of BITC said: “We know substantial investment is already being made in employee wellbeing, however, public reporting in this area is almost non existent. Our aim is to increase business accountability and competitiveness by helping companies to introduce simple health and wellbeing programmes that can be effectively measured against the bottom line”.

Lord McKenzie of Luton, junior minister at the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The UK’s future profitability is dependent on a healthy and motivated workforce, and individual businesses have much to gain in terms of reduced sick leave and recruitment costs. The importance of this issue cannot be underestimated.”

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