UK - Standard Life Healthcare has launched a new product which aims to cut sickness absence, after trialing it among its own staff for two years.
The product – which Standard Life Healthcare offers alongside its private medical insurance – focuses on improving the health and well-being of staff by suggesting lifestyle changes based on individual questionnaires.
The service, which originates from health management firm Vielife, offers guidance on nutrition, fitness, sleep and stress, along with specific issues such as back and joint assessments.
It also feeds back statistics to the employer on the key health issues staff face. Employers can then address any problems through initiatives such as discounted gym membership or on-site massages.
Standard Life Healthcare said sickness absence among its 800 staff had fallen to 2.4% per annum in the two years it had been trialling the product.Standard Life Healthcare head of human resources Vince Mewett said:
“We measure our health and well-being index every six months and each time it has risen. Staff are feeling better because of the interventions we’ve put in place.”
Other statistics from the pilot show that Standard Life Healthcare has seen a 9% reduction in smoking among staff, an 18% decrease in alcohol consumption and a 60% increase in the number of people eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
Vielife managing director Clive Pinder said other clients were showing similar benefits.
“Our service is the largest online health management programme of its kind in the UK. It reflects the government’s Choosing Health initiative in that it empowers people to improve their own well-being rather than abdicating responsibility to the NHS or an insurance company.”
Standard Life has increased exposure to risk assets in three out of five funds in its Active Plus and Passive Plus workplace pension ranges.
Some 48% of employers are unaware of the services or help they offer to members of their defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to Aon.
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