Almost two thirds of firms offer employees some kind of insurance protection benefit, according to the latest CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing at Work survey report.
The report shows 64% of firms offer some sort of insurance or protection initiatives to at least to some groups of staff which is largely unchanged from previous years.
While insurance and protection benefits remain considerably more common in the private sector, counselling services, employee assistance programmes, stop smoking support, wellbeing days, regular relaxation or exercise classes, and free flu vaccinations are more common among public sector organisations.
The report also reveals most organisations provide one or more wellbeing benefits to employees with the vast majority offering some form of health promotion benefit – most commonly free eye tests.
And half (49%) of organisations now offer free flu vaccinations to all employees, up from 38% last year.
Most organisations surveyed also provide some form of employee support with nearly three-quarters providing counselling services and employee assistance programmes to all employees.
This has been on the increase over the last few years and a gradual increase in the proportion of organisations that offer financial education and support was also reported.
Always on work culture
The research also found almost eight in 10 (77%) employers had witnessed people working when unwell when working from home in the last year.
The figure is slightly higher than levels of presenteeism in employees at the workplace which was 75%.
While more organisations were tackling these issues, more than two-fifths were experiencing presenteeism (43%) or employees working outside hours or using annual leave to work (47%), but were not taking any action.
The findings suggested that many organisations had failed to take effective action to combat the risks of an ‘always on’ culture during the pandemic.
The research also found that unmanageable workloads was by far the top cause of work-related stress (59% of respondents), which could be a contributory factor to presenteeism.
Eight in 10 employers said they were concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on employees’ mental health, and most organisations were taking additional steps to improve employee health and wellbeing.
The most common measures include an increased focus on mental health (84%) and more support tailored to individuals’ needs and concerns, such as flexible working (83%).