Thought leadership

VitalityHealth (formerly PruHealth), the health insurer and wellness programme provider and Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments are launching  Britain’s Healthiest Company 2015It aims to find and celebrate the country’s most outstanding organisations demonstrating best practice and innovative approaches to looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff.


Britain’s Healthiest Company, the largest national study in the UK, gives employers valuable insights into the wellbeing of their workers and celebrates those companies supporting health in the workplace. Companies with at least 50 employees are invited sign up to participate in the survey which will comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of workplace wellness programmes and the health of the workforce.

The study analyses lifestyle, behavioural and clinical risk factors including weight, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, stress, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, blood pressure as well as how often people attend health screenings to monitor and understand their health.


Neville Koopowitz, chief executive of VitalityHealth, said: “The pervasive effect our lifestyles have not only on our own health, but that of the economy as well, is startling. When we calculated the Vitality Age of the respondents to the 2014 survey, it was almost four years older than the real age. Our workforce is, in effect, four years older than it should be. This has a dramatic impact on productivity.

“As this is the third time we have conducted the survey the results will be particularly interesting as it will start to show us a direction of travel for employee health.”

Britain’s Healthiest Company 2014 surveyed over 25,000 employees from 82 companies across a diverse range of industries and employer sizes. The research, which was undertaken by the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, revealed that sick leave and presenteeism (working while unwell) costs companies, on average, 7.7% of their yearly wage bill. This translated into an estimated total cost of lost productivity to the UK economy of over £58 billion per year.

The report signalled a stark warning of a dormant health time bomb, with nearly two thirds (62%) of employees having at least two bad lifestyle choices that put them at serious risk of future ill health. The findings highlight the strong link between these lifestyle risk factors, employees’ health and their performance at work, looking at areas such as: absenteeism, productivity, engagement, and presenteeism.  It found that employers are typically left to pick up the bill as unhealthy staff take more time off sick and under-perform at work. 

Chris Bailey, Head of Corporate Consulting for Employee Health and Benefits at Mercer commented: “The results from the last two years of Britain’s Healthiest Company suggest that organisations investing in the health of their employees are rewarded with a competitive advantage. The data shows that, of the 2014 participants of Britain’s Healthiest Company, the top 20% healthiest companies had 37% less ‘lost productivity’ than the survey average. This should place wellness firmly on the agenda of boardrooms nationally."

Each participating company will receive a confidential Corporate Health Report, which will provide employers with a holistic view of employee wellbeing, as well as unique benchmarking information that can be used to inform future HR and People strategies.

The report provides an effective approach to measure and manage the health risks within an organisation; understand how these risks impact employee engagement and productivity levels; and a set of practical recommendations on how to manage these risks.

2014 winners


Britain’s Healthiest Company – Large (1000+ eligible employees)






BNP Paribas

Britain’s Healthiest Company – Medium (250-999 eligible employees)


adidas (UK) Ltd


Discovery Networks


iris Worldwide

Britain’s Healthiest Company – Small (50-249 eligible employees)


Gilead Sciences Ltd


Forrester Research Limited


Grey Matter Ltd.



For more information and how to register, please visit

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