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Time for a checkup?

Published 5th December 2013 by IIP Scotland

The links between health and wellbeing and the Investors in People framework have ever been clear, but with the Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Award, we can take this a step further and help you improve the health of your workforce.

Have you looked at the health and wellbeing of your employees as a route to business improvement?  Well you should, and here’s why.

  • The CBI estimate that the cost of sick days to British businesses is £11bn a year.
  • Over 105 million days are lost to stress each year – costing UK employers £1.24 billion.
  • The amount of sick days taken each year is falling, but occurrences of ‘presenteeism’ – when an employee turns up for work, but is not fit to do so – is on the rise.
  • 9-10% of companies annual pay bill is spent managing the direct and indirect effects of sickness absence.
  • 1 in 6 UK employees is thought to be suffering from stress, depression or anxiety, with 1 in 4 thought to suffer from one in their lifetime.


Managing wellbeing encompasses physical and mental health that can result in improved business performance. It focuses on prevention and managing the healthy so they are less likely to fall sick. Those employees who are physically and emotionally well will perform better and are likely to be more engaged at work.

Where in the past this may have been referred to ‘perks’ or ‘staff benefits’, it is now a very simple and effective method for maintaining business performance, and should be taken as seriously as R&D or investment in technology. It is of course, very closely linked to public health, and in this regard personal responsibility plays just as important a role in aspects such as diet, exercise, and alcohol and cigarette consumption.

An employer however, can have a dramatic impact on the health of their workforce, and in order to drive business performance it is imperative that they do so. The reason being, that UK employers are bearing a significant proportion of the wider economic costs of ill-health, stress and incapacity. As the UK workforce gets older over the course of the next couple of decades, this problem will only be exacerbated.