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Corporate Health and Wellbeing Programmes Five Trends For 2016

23rd Dec 2015
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After a year when health and wellbeing rose up on the agenda for UK employers, you can be sure the issue will remain a prominent one over the next 12 months. Here are four emerging areas we expect every large employer to be thinking about or acting on in 2016:

1. Prevent rather than cure

If 2015 was the year when organisations started offering a wider range of healthcare benefits to improve access to treatment and support, 2016 will be about preventing illness in the first place.

Expect a government white paper to be published around Easter 2016 asking employers to refocus their corporate wellbeing programmes on preventative measures.

This will further shift the way businesses invest in health and wellbeing and we expect employers to demand greater evidence that initiatives are working and providing a decent return on the money spent. 

2.  Digitization of healthcare

Research conducted by the government that informs the NHS Five Year Digital Healthcare plan found that 84% of the population in the UK has access to the internet, 59% use a smartphone and only 2% interact with the NHS through digital platforms.

The failure of the NHS to connect with our digital lives isn’t just an issue for policy makers, it is an issue for employers as inefficient and untimely access to healthcare has a major impact on our people and their performance at work.

In the USA, approaching 80% of employers offer employees rapid access to quality on-line care through telemedicine. It remains to be seen how long it will take the UK government to get a digital healthcare service up and running but we suspect employers will want to provide employees with access to 24/7 care well in advance of the NHS being able to do so and will turn to private providers already offering this service.

3.  Rise of family wide benefits

Looking across the research into employee benefits trends, health and wellbeing benefits have consistently ranked in the top three benefits most valued by employees this year. Not surprisingly these employees want their spouse and children to enjoy the same access to high quality healthcare as they do.

In response employers are increasingly offering multi family health insurance and benefits to cover the extended family.

We anticipate this trend will grow over 2016 as employees are asked by the government to play a greater role in the provision of healthcare.

4. Financial wellbeing  

After years of research showing that poor financial wellbeing undermines physical and mental health as well as impacting workplace performance, providing support for financial wellbeing has finally started to emerge as a mainstream consideration for employers in 2015.

As employers prioritise employee health and wellbeing, the provision of workplace financial education will be a key area where organisations support their people in 2016.

We’ll have to wait and see which of these trends gets the biggest traction but in the meantime the team at Munroe Sutton wishes you a healthy and happy New Year.

 

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