More and more companies are using staff benefits to help safeguard their employees’ health and wellbeing, according to a study by employee assistance programme (EAP) provider FirstAssist, and the Institute of Leadership and Management.
The study of more than 200 line managers found more than half of the employers polled now offered flexible working hours, 42% provided an employee counselling service and 28% offered private medical insurance.
Other popular perks aimed at enhancing workplace wellbeing included regular health screenings and free health and lifestyle advice, it added.
More widely, the study found only 14% of line managers worked more than 40 hours a week, and none worked more than 60 hours a week.
Just 14% worried about taking time off sick because it was frowned upon by management, with 74% happy to phone in sick and speak to their line manager.
The majority of managers felt comfortable dealing with employees who were unwell or had personal problems.
Almost half were supported by medical experts – including OH – while 45% said they had received training in managing staff wellbeing and absence.
Yet managers themselves were often reluctant to take time off to recuperate when ill, with 73% admitting to working through a minor illness, while two-thirds were generally only absent when it was physically impossible to get to work.