Employers seek ROI evidence before introducing wellbeing schemes

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Employers are failing to tackle staff health issues despite the rapid growth in the proportion of older workers, a survey finds.

However, 75% of employers said they would be fairly likely to implement a wellbeing programme if it showed a return on investment.

According to the JLT research, 42% of employers did not have or did not know if they had a programme in place to help employees maintain their health.

The JLT 250 Club report also found that 25% of employers thought it was ‘very important' to have a programme that helped employees stay fit and well when working past State pension age, while 29% thought it was ‘important' and 27% ‘fairly important'.

The report of private sector employers in the UK found employers were failing to support their ageing workforce or to effectively communicate the benefits available to them.

JLT said this was surprising in light of the fast growing proportion of older workers in UK companies, a trend driven by the abolishment of the Default Retirement Age in 2011 and the need for employees to work longer to afford a comfortable retirement.

It added that the findings were particularly alarming following research by the Longevity Centre which highlighted that only 32% of people would be "healthy" when they reached 65.

JLT Employee Benefits director Bernie Clark said: "Our calculation shows that most people are likely to have to work until their mid-seventies to retire on a comfortable pension, based on the current typical pension contribution rates.

"This means that employers will increasingly be challenged by the far greater need for health support of their ageing workforce.

"While over 80% of employers recognise the need to put in place a health and wellbeing programme, many are yet to put this into action. This may be because it's still early days for wellbeing programmes and employers are waiting to see concrete results from the forerunners, for example increased productivity and reduced absentee levels."

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