The recession has placed an enormous amount of pressure on almost all sectors, especially recent company formations and the SME sector. However the impact it has had on the nation’s workforce must not be overlooked. Not only do workers in the UK work the longest hours in Europe, throughout the past year they have also had to deal with the threat of redundancy , pay freezes and job insecurity all of which, according to a recent report, has had a negative impact on their health.
Employee absence has cost the UK economy over £14 billion in the past year, this has increased by almost 2.5% since 2008 and has prompted many employees to review the way in which the treat their employees and the role they play in their health.
It has also caused the government to review employee health policies which has consequently led to the implementation of the government’s ‘Health at Work’ programme. This scheme provides funding for companies that have developed initiatives, to improve the health of their employees. One company that has received some of this funding is Carling Recruitment. Managing director, Scott Marsden comments;
“The recruitment sector is notoriously stressful. We noticed how targets, long hours and an increasingly competitive marketplace were all having an adverse impact on the health of our team and the number of employees who were taking long periods of sick-leave was increasing exponentially. Therefore, we decided that it was a problem we should address. We began offering employees subsidized gym membership and employed an occupational health consultant to come into the office at least three times a month. Not only has this help reduce employee absence, it has also improved team spirit and therefore the long-term profitability of our company.”