Health and wellbeing at work
We believe in the importance of supporting the health and wellbeing of our staff. We want to help local businesses to do the same.
Here are resources and tips for promoting workplace health, and share our experience of achieving Excellence accreditation in the London Healthy Workplace Charter.
Why health and wellbeing at work is important
Good employment is good for our physical and mental health and wellbeing and employers are in an excellent position to support and improve these.
Promoting health and wellbeing at work has benefits both for staff and businesses, including:
|For staff||For businesses|
|Improved overall health and wellbeing||Increased productvity|
|Reduced stress||Reduced absenteeism|
|Improved morale||Reduced sickness absence|
|Improved working conditions||Reduced risk of legal action|
|Better self-esteem||Lower staff turnover|
|Increased job satisfaction||Reputation as a caring employer|
Although there are large (250+ staff) and medium (50-249 staff) businesses in Barnet, the borough is predominantly a small business economy with a majority of small (10-49 staff) and micro (1-9 staff) businesses. Workplace health promotion is important to organisations of all sizes.
Tips for workplace health promotion in micro and small enterprises
- Make sure staff are involved in developing health and wellbeing initiatives. Plans are more likely to be successful and staff often come up with the best ideas. Staff surveys and team meetings are a useful way to engage and make sure people's views are heard.
- Network and learn from others. Barnet's business networking page has suggestions for networking opportunities.
- Implement free and low cost initiatives eg a walking group, healthy recipe swaps.
- Get involved in national/global campaigns - charities often provide free resources to promote initiatives.
- Identify opportunities to build workplace health initiatives into an existing business plan or strategy.
The London Healthy Workplace Charter
The London Healthy Workplace Charter is a set of standards that helps businesses to support and improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. Organisations can achieve accreditation at three levels (commitment, achievement and excellence) by meeting the standards of the Charter.
Whatever the size of your business the Charter can bring benefits to your organisation.
Visit the GLA website for more information on the Charter, including how to register your interest and a self-assessment framework to help you start the journey towards accreditation. If you decide to sign up for the Charter you will be assigned a workplace lead who will support you throughout the process.
Health and wellbeing at work events
On Friday 18th November Barnet Council held their first Health and Wellbeing at Work event for local businesses. The aim of the event was to increase awareness of the London Healthy Workplace Charter among local organisations and encourage them to sign up, as well as provide opportunities for networking and information on resources to support health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Attendees benefited from the expertise of one of the Charter’s verifiers, Glenis Wade, who gave a talk about the Charter and tips on how to work towards accreditation. They also heard first-hand from a local business, Future Path, about their experience of becoming accredited at commitment level.
Organisations including Barnet’s leisure providers GLL, the Department of Work and Pensions, Twinings, Future Path, and the Council’s Adult Social Care team hosted stalls, providing information about their services; GLL also provided health checks.
We will keep you updated about future events.
Employment support and retention
Disability Confident Employer - a Department of Work and Pensions scheme that aims to showcase the opportunities provided by employing people with disabilities. The scheme has three levels and is free to join.
Employers for Carers - a joint initiative between Carers UK and major businesses to support employers to retain carers in work. Membership costs from £500/year for businesses with less than 500 employees, to £3000/year for corporate membership. Enter membership code #EFC1588 when prompted.
Fit for Work - a government-funded service that supports people back into work after a period of sickness and those with health conditions who are in work. Staff can be referred into the service by their employer or GP.
Mental Health for Employers Toolkit - produced by Business in the Community and Public Health England to provide free, online advice to help employers develop and support a mentally healthy workforce.
Health & Safety, and legislation
Acas - the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. They provide a range of training courses and free resources.
Health and Safety Executive - advice, guidance, news, templates, tools, legislation and publications from Great Britain's independent regulator for work-related health, safety and illness.
Healthy workplace ideas
Health at Work - the British Heart Foundation's free-to-join programme promoting and supporting health and wellbeing at work.
Acas - provides training on health and wellbeing at work, including mental health awareness training for employers.
Business in the Community - in partnership with Public Health England they have produced toolkits to support employers to improve mental health and wellbeing, and reduce the risk of suicide in the workplace. They have also worked with Public Health England and the Samaritans to develop a toolkit that advisers employers how to manage the aftermath of an employer suicide.
Mental Health Foundation - provides extensive, well-researched information on mental health and wellbeing. They have a specific section on mental health in the workplace and a 4-week online mindfulness course which costs £30 per person (although it is free to start).
MHFA - Mental Health First Aid teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be developing a mental health issue.
Mindful Employers - a voluntary Charter indicating an employer's positive attitude towards mental health. There is a sign up fee and employers must pay for review after 2 years, and every 3 years thereafter.
Time to Change - a movement aimed to change how we think and act about mental health, thereby reducing stigma and discrimination. Organisations can pledge to work towards improving mental health, and access resources to support workplace initiatives.
Business in the Community - have worked with Public Health England and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance to develop a toolkit to support employers to promote good musculoskeletal health in the workplace.
Dementia Friends - an initiative by the Alzheimer's Society to change people's perception of dementia. Register your organisation to enable Barnet to become a dementia friendly community. This can help you to understand your customer base and improve your customer service.
Updated March 2017