Standard to help employers have a healthier outlook

The Government is considering a new ‘Investors in Health’ standard – based along the same lines as Investors in People – to encourage employers to promote healthy lifestyles.

The idea could be included in the Government’s imminent public health White Paper, which will underline the responsibility of employers to improve health, stressing the business benefits in terms of lower staff absence and higher employee performance.

Under the new standard, companies would get accreditation for encouraging healthy lifestyles and diet, exercise and health self-assessment.

Michael Hall, chief executive of Standard Life Healthcare and one of the document’s authors, said the Investors in Health standard would be a “low-cost, high-return initiative that will appeal to employers, employees and the Government”.

A pamphlet published last week by the Social Market Foundation think-tank argued that employers “could hold the key to improving the nation’s health if they take their responsibilities towards their employees seriously”.

Nand Gouhari, chief operating officer at employee assistance provider PPC Worldwide, said there was a clear link between proactively keeping people happy and healthy at work and their performance.

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