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Employee Engagement

Whatever shape or form the next government takes one in five employers want it to focus on the wellbeing of their staff says new research

Almost one in five (19%) employers want the next government to take more action on staff wellbeing, according to new research from Group Risk Development (GRiD), the trade body for the group risk industry.

With the General Election less than a month away, more help to support staff wellbeing – which also benefits the business bottom line by improving staff morale and absence rates – has been found to be one of the most popular incentives on employers’ wish lists.

Similarly, one in five (20%) employers saw merging income tax and national insurance to create a simplified system, which supporters say will help to reduce costs and drive up wages, as the most important issue for the new administration to address.

When it comes to promoting health and wellbeing amongst staff, employers have pointed to managing stress (38%), promoting a healthy work/life balance (64%) and introducing more flexible working initiatives (47%) as some of their more importance focuses. GRiD’s research has found that many have already started to introduce ways of promoting this, such as line managers being trained to spot signs of stress and mental health conditions, plus health and wellness promotions.

Katharine Moxham, Spokesperson for Group Risk Development, said: “Health and wellbeing is clearly a priority. It’s really encouraging to see that not only do employers recognise the importance of this, but we know they are also doing their best to implement health and wellness support in the workplace. However, what is evident is that employers would like greater support and incentives to be able to do this. When it comes to what employers can do now, rather than waiting to see what the next government chooses to focus on, introducing Group Risk protection products provides additional support services which can help to make the process far easier. From helping to achieve a sustainable return to work for those who have had to take time off sick to fast-track access to counselling, all serve to make life better for both employer and employee.

“On a broader level, the Governments’ new Fit for Work service brings us to the brink of a new era where greater focus will be placed on supporting employees with health conditions to stay in the workplace. Employers who work with the new service will come to appreciate where Group Income Protection can serve their needs by helping them implement back to work programmes and by giving them access to a raft of further support to focus on prevention as well as cure.”

The research also found that almost one in ten employers (9%) most wanted to see an extension of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme to support SMEs, while 8% said the business rates revaluation being bought forward from 2017 was the most important move for them – a review has now been announced in the recent Budget..

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