Healthy Working Lives Award Programme - The Benefits

Last reviewed on 16/01/2013 11:04

Organisations, communities and individuals can all reap the rewards of a healthier and safer workforce.

Find out how participating in our Award Programme could help your organisation.

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Changing times – markets and the workforce

The number of people in Scotland of working age is forecast to fall by 8% – from 3.15 million in 2002 to 2.88 million in 2027 – and the number of Scots aged 16 to 29 is expected to drop by nearly 9%.

In this climate, recruiting, motivating and retaining staff is becoming increasingly critical - especially for small companies where high staff turnover can be very disruptive.

(Figures from Government Actuary’s Department (Dec 2003) Projected Population of Scotland (2002 Based) report.)

Taking part in the Healthy Working Lives Award Programme can help your organisation to manage these pressures by reducing absence, and increasing productivity and staff retention.


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Enhancing your reputation, increasing your profile

Customers expect high standards of health, safety and corporate responsibility. Participating in the Award Programme will enable you to demonstrate that you set higher standards for staff health and well-being than your competitors do.

Having an Award also sends the same signal to employees and potential recruits, making it more likely they'll choose to work with you and keep working with you.


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The costs of sickness absence

It is estimated that 2.2 million working days are lost every year through ill health in Scotland, costing employers £1.2 billion. In the course of a year, the total cost per employee of sickness absence is estimated to be £1,600.

(Figures from HSE National Statistics – Statistics of Occupational Safety, Ill health and Enforcement Action 2002/03 Scotland.)


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Improved attendance rates

There are significant benefits in actively promoting attendance at work, and supporting staff to return to work. Providing support at an early stage can prevent the escalation of a condition, while low-cost interventions – such as a phased return to work, or reducing workloads – can be very effective.

Pressure is reduced on employees covering for those who are absent, sick pay costs are reduced, and productivity can be maintained. Equally as important, staff will feel supported and valued, making it more likely they'll remain with your organisation.

Our Award Programme will help your organisation to develop clear policies and practices that support staff during periods of illness and help them to remain at, or return to work.


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A healthier, more motivated and productive workforce

Actively promoting health in the workplace has been shown to improve productivity.

A Harvard Medical School study, which explored the links between health and productivity, revealed that a multi-component health promotion programme saw an 8.5% improvement in work performance, absence reduced, and the return on investment was calculated at £3.73 for each £1 spent.

(Figures from The Vielife/IHPM/Harvard Medical School Health and Performance Research Study, October 2005.)

Our Award Programme offers a multi-component health, safety and well-being programme similar to that studied in the Harvard research.


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Reduced accidents and work-related ill health

If work is making your people ill, or if they are injured at work, productivity and staff retention are bound to suffer! By putting in place robust systems, employers can identify problems as they arise, ensuring appropriate action is taken.

The Award Programme will support you to introduce procedures to reduce accidents and ill health.


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Controlling insurance costs

The cost of employers’ liability insurance premiums is increasing, with more insurers moving towards premiums based on evidence of risk management. Organisations which clearly demonstrate they are addressing issues such as accident reporting, staff health and well-being in the workplace are more likely to be looked upon favourably by insurers.

The Award Programme will provide you with a clear framework for assessing and managing risks in the workplace.


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Your contribution to the health of the wider community

The Scottish Government is asking employers to view work in its wider context and to act in ways that benefit not only their business and their employees, but also the wider economy and society as a whole.

There are obvious synergies in health promotion, attendance management, flexible working, providing a safe place to work, supporting the mental well-being of staff, caring for the environment and promoting social responsibility.

With healthier communities come healthier employees and improved prospects for organisations of all kinds.


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