Healthier staff can boost the bottom line for businesses

24 November 2014

More London organisations are recognising that investing in staff’s health and wellbeing makes business sense. Organisations as diverse as leading insurance specialists Lloyds of London and Kings College Hospital in South London, have signed up to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s, London Healthy Workplace Charter in an effort to improve employees health and happiness. Their achievements will be recognised, along with 19 other organisations, at a ceremony in City Hall today, Monday 24 November.

Almost 14 million working days a year are lost to sickness absence in London. Research has shown that an average London firm of 250 employees can lose up to £250,000 a year, or £4,800 per week, due to sickness absence. Physically active workers take 27 per cent fewer sick days than non-physically active counterparts. Improving health and wellbeing of staff not only saves money by reducing levels of absence, but can also boost economic output.

Launched in 2012, the Mayor’s London Healthy Workplace Charter is a voluntary scheme which encourages employers to invest in the well-being of their staff by supporting them to become more active and take healthier life choices. Participating organisations have offered incentives such as subsidised gym membership, interest-free loans for bicycles and free fruit at work, as well as setting up stop smoking groups and developing alcohol and mental health policies.

Oil and gas giant Shell, worldwide leaders in customer experience management Sitel, and HM Revenue & Customs, are among the businesses that will pick up awards for their work. They will be joined by range of other organisations including Barts Health Trust, Kingston Voluntary Action and six London boroughs.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “It’s fantastic to see a range of organisations signing up to London’s Healthy Workplace Charter, from global blue-chip firms to one of the capital’s major teaching hospitals. Whatever the size and type, London businesses are increasingly recognising that investing in staff health and wellbeing can benefit the bottom line.”

The Deputy Mayor Victoria Borwick, who presented the awards, said: “All the organisations receiving awards today have put in a lot of hard work and deserve to be congratulated. I hope other businesses across the capital will see that putting in a little effort to boost staff’s health and happiness can bring huge benefits to their organisation.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The organisations to receive a London Healthy Workplace standard this year are:

ORGANISATION

ACCREDITATION LEVEL

Greater London Authority

Excellence

Enfield Council

Achievement

Havering Council

Achievement

Brent Council

Achievement

Lloyds of London

Achievement

City of London

Achievement

Newham Council

Achievement

John Bell Croydon Pharmacy

Achievement

Sitel

Achievement

Barts Health Trust

Commitment

Kingston Voluntary Action

Commitment

Imago Techmedia

Commitment

Kingston Centre for Independent Living

Commitment

Balance

Commitment

Harrow Council

Commitment

YMCA Kingston

Commitment

Merton Council

Commitment

HM Revenue & Customs

Commitment

Stanmore College

Commitment

Shell

Commitment

Kings College Hospital

Commitment

  • Figures from GLA Economics report London’s business case for employee health and well-being https://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/health/focus-issues/health-work-and-wellbeing
  • The London Healthy Workplace Charter is a structured framework to recognise and support business investment in staff health and wellbeing. It was launched in 2012. The Charter is hosted and coordinated by the GLA and delivered through borough workplace health leads.
  • The workplace offers a unique opportunity to promote health and wellbeing among working adults and save money for businesses.
  • Employers who sign up to the Charter are encouraged to make commitments to improving staff health and wellbeing across the following areas – corporate support, attendance, health and safety, physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and wellbeing, smoking cessation, alcohol and substance misuse.
  • They are accredited at three progressive levels – Commitment, Achievement, Excellence

Progress to date:

  • 44 employers have taken part in the programme to date (covering approximately 139,000 employees); 21 have been presented with awards this year.
  • Accredited businesses come from a broad range of sectors – manufacturing, wholesale, business services, IT consultants, hotels, museums, NHS, local authorities, charities, universities etc.
  • Nearly a third of accredited organisations (32 per cent) have less than 250 employees, with the smallest having eight employees.