United Kingdom

HR not doing enough to tackle presenteeism

November 2014


Presenteeism and work-life balance are not being adequately addressed in the workplace, despite stress being one of the most prevalent health and wellbeing issues, an industry report finds.

50 per cent of HR professionals polled in Edenred’s Health and Wellbeing at Work 2015 report cited workplace stress as a major health concern whilst two-thirds admitted that their organisation was ‘not doing enough’ to tackle presenteeism.

Presenteeism – where staff come to work despite illness - was seen as the biggest problem, in addition to supporting employee resilience and improving employee morale. Specifically, 55 per cent of respondents said employers were failing to support staff in achieving a good work-life balance.

Jeff Fox, Senior Benefits Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits said: "Stress falls under the radar because it is difficult to quantify. Yet whilst the evidence suggests a growing issue, employee benefit schemes seem to be more concerned with the more tangible traditional business challenges.”

The report also found that although health and wellbeing-related benefits were already being offered by many employers, staff were not being made aware of their availability due to the lack of benefit communications.

When asked about the reasons why employers were not doing enough to promote a healthier workforce and encourage a work-life balance, over half of respondents cited workplace culture as a barrier, whereas two-fifths of respondents said management level were unconvinced of the long-term merits of health and wellbeing.

Fox added: “There is clearly a need for modern employee benefits to address and tackle the broad issue of employee stress. Happier, less stressed employees drive better business behaviours which ultimately lead to a more productive culture and a positive impact on the bottom line.”



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