General Insurance Article - Health and wellbeing benefits boosts SME productivity

Research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that offering health and wellbeing benefits to staff can play a valuable role in boosting productivity. As lockdown eases and many companies adapt to the ‘new normal’, employee health and wellbeing will become ever more important for businesses.

 Three in five (60%) SMEs acknowledge that providing health and wellbeing benefits has a high impact on supporting the productivity of their company. This increases to 69% for medium size businesses, whilst 22% of SMEs rated having health and wellbeing benefits as being critical for ensuring high productivity. However, only one in five (20%) are aware of a legal requirement to provide information on benefits to new employees by their first day of work.

 From the very first day of a new job, all employees should be made aware of the benefits available to them. What’s known as a ‘Day One Statement’ – technically a ‘written statement of particulars’ - should set out details such as hours of work and holiday entitlement and, since April 2020, has become a legal obligation for businesses. A Day One Statement doesn’t require employers to provide details of other available benefits which might support employees’ health and wellbeing. However, 59% of SMEs said they would value more information to help explain their legal requirements and allow them to maximise the opportunity to promote health and wellbeing benefits to their staff.

 The ABI has launched a range of free online information to help businesses navigate the new requirement and use it as an opportunity to boost staff wellbeing and productivity. This includes an expanded Day One Statement template to share additional information on the health and wellbeing benefits available, from gym memberships to mental health support, life insurance or online GP access. This free service is supported by Group Risk Development (GRiD) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) who are helping share the information to employers and business advisers.

 Charlie Campbell, ABI Manager, Health and Protection, said: Keeping up to speed with new legal requirements can be difficult, especially during a pandemic. But Day One Statements are not just a legal requirement – they are an opportunity to boost wellbeing and productivity at a time when employee health has never been more important to ensuring a healthy and productive workforce.”

 There are five simple steps that employers can follow to boost wellbeing and productivity across their business:

 Identify workers who are now entitled to a Day One Statement
 Check your policies are up to date to communicate correct information
 Use the statement to support workplace wellbeing and boost productivity
 Help staff stay engaged by providing statements to them every year
 Explore what other action you can take to support wellbeing

 There is a valuable role that health and protection can play in supporting employee wellbeing whilst also benefiting employers, through reduced employee sickness and absence, as well as improving employee retention and recruitment. Research found that 58% of respondents believe a workplace wellbeing programme will help them achieve good health outcomes 

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