PROSPER MAGAZINE: ISSUE 02 | SECTOR FOCUS
A QUARTER OF BUSINESSES HAVE NO HEALTH BUDGET BUT EMPLOYEE MENTAL HEALTH IS STILL A BIG ISSUE
A quarter of businesses still aren’t investing in their employees’ health and wellbeing, despite widespread worries about mental health and work pressures.
Kevin Rogers, Chief Executive of Health Cash Plan provider Paycare, has urged bosses across the region to educate themselves about the benefits of a proactive approach to team wellbeing.
His call comes following the results of the latest Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey, which included several health and wellbeing questions posed by the Wolverhampton-based not-for-profit company.
A total of 24 per cent of respondents admitted they had no health budget currently. In contrast, 20 per cent spend up to £20 per year per employee, 7 per cent invest between £20 and £50, and 17 per cent allocate more than £50 per person annually.
When asked about the biggest challenge they faced, 29 per cent of respondents said their staff worked in a high-pressure environment, 18 per cent said mental health, 7 per cent said high absenteeism and presenteeism levels, and a further 7 per cent had problems with long-term sickness.
Kevin told Prosper, “It’s great to see some firms investing but really worrying to see others ignoring the very real benefits – to both staff and the company itself – of having a health and wellbeing budget.
Everyone has had to tighten their belts in recent years, but your employees are your most priceless asset; most bosses wouldn’t think twice about servicing the office photocopier or maintaining factory equipment, so why ignore everything your staff might need to keep them functioning at their most productive level?
“It’s clear from feedback that there are many health and wellbeing worries shared by lots of the region’s employers, but two thirds also said they didn’t offer flexible working, more than eight in ten don’t have a Health Cash Plan in place, and 86 per cent of companies don’t have access to an Employee Assistance Programme.
“Ignoring employee wellbeing completely or not investing in the right areas is going to have an impact on sickness rates, presenteeism, morale and productivity. So, setting aside even a small budget can reduce all the major challenges reported to us through this survey,” Kevin concluded.