Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

Author Bio ▼

Ian joined Informa (formerly UBM) in 2018 as the Editor of Safety & Health Practitioner. Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming.

Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in business to business trade print media, in the automotive sector. He was Online Editor and then moved on to be the Editor of two publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.

January 15, 2020

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Wellbeing in the Manufacturing industry

Manufacturing industry investing in workforce health and wellbeing with 90% of companies rewarded with productivity boost

Wellbeing is now part of the core commitment of manufacturers to their staff – 85% see it as their duty to encourage and promote physical and mental wellbeing.

mental-healthAgainst a backdrop of ever-increasing skills shortages, rapid technological change and an ageing workforce, manufacturers are investing more than ever before in their employees’ health and wellbeing. That’s according to the manufacturers’ organisation, Make UK. Counselling, health-screening and mental health first aiders are the norm in factories across the UK with modern and flexible working opportunities sitting at the heart of British industry.

A recent report into the UK’s health & safety landscape, published by the organisation, shows that this investment in people has brought with it a boost in productivity for 90% of manufacturers along with improvements in workforce relations. Manufacturing companies also saw a reduction in absenteeism alongside a strengthening of staff retention as a return for wellbeing spend on staff.

The most recent data from the UK’s Office of National Statistics showed 141million days lost to sickness absence in 2018, and over 17million working days lost to mental health related conditions. Across the whole of the UK economy, sickness absence costs companies £15billion a year. Over 60% of manufacturing companies already provide workplace adjustments including flexible working for those returning to work after a period of sickness absence, while 52% have put in place a professional Occupational Health service to support staff on their journey back to work.

Wellbeing is sitting at the heart of manufacturing businesses and is increasingly seen as a core objective for companies. To that end, 85% of firms see it as their duty to encourage and promote physical and mental health wellbeing in the workplace.

Tim Thomas, Make UK’s Director of Labour Market and Skills Policy 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% 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. “

Mark Fosh, Divisional Director of Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, added: “Coupled with a more general workplace wellness trend, manufacturers are investing in their health and wellbeing agendas, in a bid to build and maintain a healthy workforce and reduce absenteeism. This is clearly sending positive ripples across the sector.

“Manufacturers should now look to optimise the investments they are already making through seeking practical guidance on how best to manage their health and wellbeing strategies.”


Workplace Wellbeing Show: Dates set for 19-21 May, 2020

Workplace Wellbeing Show 2020As more businesses search for solutions, guidance and expertise surrounding the increasing challenges of workplace wellbeing and mental health, HR and wellbeing professionals will come together at the Workplace Wellbeing Show 2020, which takes place from 19-21 May at ExCeL, London.

Courage, resilience and breaking the mould

Find insights and inspiration from the 75+ hours of seminars at Safety & Health Expo 2019 in this exclusive eBook, and see what you could discover at next year's event.

Read about the courage to speak out about mental health and drive change within the industry, the resilience to adapt to new legislation and cope with new challenges, and cultural change and leadership that truly breaks the mould.

Safety & Health Expo 2019 insight

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