The benefits of workplace health

Nurse taking blood pressureEvidence shows that workplace health initiatives can deliver a wide range of benefits, to both employers and staff.

Employers report reduced staff sickness absence and turnover, increased productivity and employee satisfaction, and fewer accidents and injuries.

Staff enjoy improved wellbeing, and workplace health checks can even pick-up conditions before they cause symptoms. Employees working for firms that promote wellness are more likely to be engaged, and think positively of their employers.

A healthy economic advantage

An unhealthy and unhappy workforce is costly:
  • Each year 140 million working days are lost to sickness absence in the UK, costing UK businesses an estimated £29billion.
  • Presenteeism – attending work while sick – is valued at an average cost to employers of £605 per employee per year, due to reduced productivity.
  • The financial cost to British business of mental ill health is estimated at £26billion per year.
  • Smokers sick leave and smoking breaks are estimated to cost UK business £8.7billion per year.
  • High staff turnover can incur huge recruitment and training costs, on top of lost revenue while new employees reach full productivity.

Healthy businesses, with high staff satisfaction, have a significant economic advantage.


Our economic evidence report  is coming soon. This shows that employers who invest in appropriate and successful workplace health initiatives have the potential to see a return on investment of between £2 and £34 for every £1 spent.

Typically, programmes that address overall health pay back over two to three years, while more targeted interventions – such as weight management, or smoking cessation - can be even quicker.

Wide-ranging returns

The benefits of Health at Work extend beyond the bottom line.

Benefits for employees:
  • better physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • increased motivation
  • less sickness and quicker recovery
  • less stress and back pain
  • improved morale
  • greater work satisfaction
  • networking opportunities.

Benefits for employers:

  • increased productivity
  • lower rates of early retirement due to ill health
  • reduced absenteeism and quick return to work after illness
  • fewer workplace injuries
  • greater staff retention and engaged employees
  • reduced costs to train new staff
  • improvements in communications
  • a more positive corporate image.

More useful information