Do healthcare benefits really boost the bottom line?

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Sandra Beale, HR Consultant, Mark Burch, Head of Reward and Performance at the Crown Prosecution Service and Janis Bowen, Health and Wellbeing Manager at KPMG present their views.

Sandra Beale, HR Consultant

Increased morale and productivity can be the by-products of companies offering health care benefits including private medical and health insurance and even an occupational health service. By demonstrating their duty of care in this way companies can show they value the health & well being of their staff. This in turn creates good employee relations, which can be greatly improved if such benefits are available for all levels of staff. Obviously cost is a major consideration, but even the provision of a basic occupational health service which need not be too expensive can go a long way to ultimately boosting the bottom line.

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Mark Burch, Head of Reward and Performance, The Crown Prosecution Service

Any initiative that contributes to the well being of our staff is likely to be of value. In the public sector the bottom line is the level and quality of service we can provide. Here in the CPS, there is a correlation between keeping staff healthy, reducing sickness absence and the standard of service we provide. Consequently, we are always open to new ways in which we can incorporate affordable healthcare into the range of benefits we provide to our staff.

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Janis Bowen, Health and Wellbeing Manager, KPMG

“We recently launched the ‘Well’ questionnaire which is a health profiling exercise, it covers weight measurement, what exercise you take, sleep management and other aspects it is based on a traffic light system. Employees can sit down with the results and talk about their profile with an expert and that helps them to move forward. It’s about lifestyle change. We also have occupational health practitioners on site who deal with management referrals, and getting people back to work. There’s an EAP service in place and we have wellbeing advisers - they are the eyes and ears within our offices and feed back to us about the key issues. We also run a newsletter – ‘K news’ that deals with personal issues. Another project we are looking at is providing alternative therapy on a part-pay service. These are the core elements of our healthcare policy which helps us achieve our goal of becoming an employer of choice – we’re hoping these things will encourage staff to join our firm and in turn boost the bottom line although it’s still early days to see what the impact will be.

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