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Wellness in the Workplace Survey

Wellness in the Workplace Survey

This morning the second Wellness in the Workplace survey - a nationwide study of 113 employers (with 116,000 employees) by Southern Cross Health Society and BusinessNZ is being released.

The full Wellness in the Workplace 2015 survey can be found here

It is a comprehensive report covering a wide range of topics from absenteeism and the cost of this to New Zealand through to stress, policies for older workers, and the impact the removal of FBT would have on businesses deciding to provide employees health insurance.

Below are the various messages from the report:
• New Zealand lost 6.7 million working days to absence in 2014 - up from 6.1 million in 2012 - according to the second Wellness in the Workplace Survey.
• The average number of annual absentee days per employee was 4.7, amounting to a national cost of $1.4 billion in 2014.
• Average absenteeism has risen from 4.5 days since 2013, at an additional cost of $200 million.
• Public sector workers absentee rates were 45.7% higher (6.7 days) than that of the private sector (4.6 days).
• Manual employees took more sick leave with 5.1 days compared to non-manual employees at 3.9.
• Larger organisations are more likely to have high rates of absenteeism, compared to SMEs where the absence of a staff member is more acute.
• The two most common causes of absence across both non-manual and manual workers were: illness/injury unrelated to the workplace and caring for a family member of dependant.
• 28.6% of businesses reported an increase in stress levels, while 14.3% reported a decrease. 57.1% saw stress levels stay the same.
o For those with 50+ staff, the proportion indicating general stress levels increased stood at 35.6%, compared with 23.3% for those with fewer than 50 staff.
o The top five reasons given for stress and anxiety increasing were general workload, relationship issues, long hours, pressure to meet targets and financial concerns
o Nine out of ten businesses believe wellness has an impact on productivity
• 35% of New Zealanders continue to head into work unwell, despite a push by businesses for unwell workers to stay away.
• Almost 80% of businesses have no policies or arrangements in place for older workers – and don’t think it’s required.
o Over 40% of businesses expect to see an increase in the proportion of workers in their enterprise above 65 in the near future.
o 79.6% (4 out of 5) businesses do not have any current policies or arrangements on place for older workers and don’t think it’s required.
o For those that have plans in place, changes to the hours of work was the most common plan, followed by reduced hours of work, lighter duties and discussions around retirement options.
• Only one third of businesses provide health insurance for their staff.
o If fringe benefit tax (FBT) on employer subsidised health insurance were removed 56% of New Zealand businesses not currently providing it would look to do so.
o Attending or waiting for medical appointments was the third most common cause of absence for non-manual employees in New Zealand – the first was non work-related illness and the second caring for a family member or other dependent due to illness or injury.

ENDS

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