Editor's message: Good employee health and wellbeing practices improve productivity and increase morale. Investing in employee wellbeing can also boost an organisation’s profile, helping it to attract and retain high-calibre staff.
However, health and wellbeing is no longer just about managing injuries sustained in the workplace, offering free sight tests, or dealing with illness that occurs during working hours. Instead, many employers are adopting a more holistic approach, looking to improve the way work is organised, taking into account both the physical and psychological aspects of the job and their impact on employees.
In recent years, there has been a more open approach to gender-specific health issues. While there is currently no legal requirement for employers to have a menopause or menstruation policy, creating a workplace that is supportive of people experiencing the menopause transition and staff affected by menstrual symptoms can be seen as a positive step forward.
Balancing work with family life can also impact employee wellbeing and this can include the challenges faced by those undergoing fertility treatment and issues for expectant and new parents. The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023, will, when it is brought into force, allow parents to take paid leave in addition to other parental leave entitlements to spend more time with their baby if still undergoing hospital care.
Health and wellbeing perks have featured prominently in employee benefits packages for many years, according to XpertHR research. Findings from our 2023 benefits and allowances survey reveal that the two most commonly offered benefits overall are a counselling service/employee assistance programme and life assurance/death-in-service cover.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to health and wellbeing.