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9/10 firms experience boost from health & wellbeing investment

According to a new wide-ranging report from Make UK, wellbeing has become a key focus for the majority of UK manufacturers, who are reaping the rewards of happier and healthier workers.

Make UK found that 85 per cent of its members now see it as their duty to encourage and promote physical and mental wellbeing at work.

Nine out of ten manufacturers are investing in professional occupational health (OH) services, including counselling, health screening and mental-health first aiders. More than 60 per cent also offer flexible working arrangements and over 80 per cent provide voluntary sick pay.

As well as ensuring the health and wellbeing of workers as a responsible employer, 90 per cent of those investing in such measures have experienced a boost in workforce productivity and an improvement in workforce relations as a result. Other benefits include a reduction in absenteeism and increased staff retention.

The findings come amid an “alarming” backdrop of increasing skills shortages, rapid technological change and an ageing workforce, making the wellbeing of staff a bigger priority than ever before.

Tim Thomas, Director of Labour Market and Skills Policy at Make UK, said:

“There is a clear message from manufacturers that they realise a healthy and happy workforce is an effective one. Employers have also recognised that jobs within their businesses should be flexible and include career development and flexible working pathways in order that they retain staff. And in doing so, there is now clear evidence that productivity will improve as a result.

“But there is still a lot more to be done and manufacturers must continue to work hard to put health and wellbeing at the heart of their business plans. With 10 per cent of the manufacturing workforce due to retire in the next three years and the pressures of new immigration rules post-Brexit, skilled workers have never been more important.”

Alongside the report, Make UK has also published a short step-by-step guide for manufacturers looking to promote health and wellbeing at work.

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