Guide for Employers: What makes people too ill to work?

Secondsight, the employee benefits specialist and part of Foster Denovo, has launched a wellbeing guide for employers, in a bid to address the areas that make people too ill to work and how this issue can be combated.


The document provides a 360° look at wellness in the workplace from the aspects of body, mind and money – covering the causes of short- and long-term absences. Morag Livingston, group risk and healthcare manager at Secondsight, said:

“When it comes to ‘health’, the general consensus is around being fit for life – both mentally and physically.”

According to the 2016 CIPD Employee Outlook: ‘Focus on Mental Health in the Workplace‘, almost a third (31 per cent) of the over 2,000 employees surveyed said they have experienced a mental health problem at some point during their working life, compared with a quarter (26 per cent) in 2011.

Livingston added:

“An employee’s physical and mental health are co-dependent, one has a profound influence on the other.


“Employees today worry about all sorts of things; family, health, workload, friends, colleagues. But worrying about money is so widespread that debt and financial concerns have taken their toll on many employees’ mental health.


“In a Citizens Advice Bureaux England and Wales Survey carried out in 2014, more than half of survey respondents in employment who were struggling with debt said their work performance was suffering.  It is small wonder that high quality mental and financial health and wellbeing programmes are of increasing interest to HR and employee benefits professionals.”

The CIPD has previously concluded that consistent policies that promote employee health and wellbeing are proven to result in savings when it comes to sick pay, shorter absenteeism and increased loyalty.

Livingston said:

“Wellness and keeping healthy, happy employees in the workplace should be of prime importance to all employers. We have always advocated the need for this to include financial education, which will – in turn – lead to employees feeling more positive towards their employer.”


“And of course, to be truly successful, promotion of these programs must be considered – both at launch and ongoing. All the investment in time, resource and money needs to extend to communication too – face to face ideally – to really drive home the message but it should be complemented by other methods, for example seminars and online.”

If you are an HR professional, you can get your free guide by visiting

Author: Editorial Team

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