A third of employers are failing to offer support for the physical wellbeing of staff, according to new industry research from Group Risk Development (Grid).
The trade body pointed out such support could be an important way for companies to help reduce the risk of certain cancers among their staff, as lifestyle factors can affect rates of diagnosis.
The report shows that only one in five (20 per cent) of employers offer initiatives to encourage staff to be more active and improve their health. Meanwhile just 18 per cent of employers offer discounted gym membership to encourage staff to get fit, while only 14 per ent offer training on specific areas such as smoking-cessation, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle.
Only around one in 10 employers (11 per cent) offer access to technology or that monitor and improve health and fitness. The same percentage off free or discounts healthy eating options.
Grid spokesperson, Katharine Moxham says: “The options available for employers to support the physical wellbeing of staff are constantly being developed.
“We’ve seen some exciting initiatives in our own industry, from access to expert health professionals to wellness apps. The health and wellbeing industry is creative and we see tangible results in the workplaces of those employers that implement them.”
Support for physical health isn’t just about treatment, but about prevention and early intervention too, and it’s important that all are considered when employers are looking at how to support staff best. Programmes can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a workforce, taking into account age, gender or particular health concerns of a workforce demographic.
Moxham adds: “Cancer is a leading cause of claim across all group risk products: employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness, so we know just how much cancer affects employees and their companies.
“The financial support offered is fantastic at a time when people need it most, but it’s important that all the other support, both in terms of prevention and early intervention, are not overlooked. They play an incredibly important part in employers looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff.”