Private sector more receptive to cover

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Workplace wellbeing strategies have been receiving investment despite the tough economy, Simplyhealth has reported.

According to the insurer, it is essential that organisations understand the importance of a workplace wellbeing strategy.

Recent statistics published in the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey 2012, showed the average employee absence was costing employers £600 a year.

It found that despite the double dip recession just under a fifth of organisations have increased wellbeing spend since last year.

And nearly half are continuing to invest the same amount in their wellbeing strategies.

Helen Dickinson, people director at Simplyhealt, said: "Wellbeing strategies should be developed to fit the organisation, its culture and its employees. Not all wellbeing initiatives require significant investment. A good balance of benefits and wellbeing schemes will help keep workforces healthy, motivated and help to reduce absence levels.

"With the government tightening its belt on spending it is not surprising to see that public sector organisations have opted for more lifestyle related benefits such as advice on stopping smoking or healthy eating."

The report showed there was a greater take up of insurance for employees in the private sector and signs of growth in the number of organisations offering health cash plans and private medical insurance.

Most organisations surveyed in the latest CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence Management report provided employees with one or more wellbeing benefits; 65% offered access to counselling services and 56% had employee assistance programmes (EAPs).

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