Staff not given help to take responsibility for health

So employers spend an average of £97 per employee each year on health and wellbeing, but this is still far overtaken by the cost of absence (‘Cost of sick days vastly outweighs healthcare spend’, Personnel Today, 10 January).

If we assume this spend is almost entirely on medical insurance and perhaps the occasional employee assistance programme, then employer support for individuals to take responsibility for their own health and fitness is misplaced.

I have yet to work in an organisation where there are on-site fitness facilities. Vending machines only contain confectionery; air conditioning means that there are big variations in temperature, and that the air containing my colleagues latest sneeze is simply being recycled around the building.

Put into this unhealthy environment people who are largely desk-bound, sedentary and caffeine fuelled for 40-plus hours a week, and you have the perfect recipe for ill-health. This is, of course, aside from any management motivational issues.

Rebecca Bennett
HR consultant
EDS Global Field Services

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