Benefits of a healthy workforce

Category: Advice for employers

Being in work is beneficial to an individual's health and wellbeing, but it's recognised that a healthy workforce is beneficial to employers too. By creating a positive, safe and healthy environment for employees, you can increase morale, improve your employees’ work-life balance and, in turn, positively impact your business.

Encouraging a Healthy Workforce

The obvious benefit of having a healthy workforce is that healthier employees are absent less often. In Scotland, it is estimated that 2.2 million working days are lost every year through ill health.

Healthy workers are more motivated to stay in work, recover from sickness quicker and are at less risk of long-term illness.

By promoting health in the workplace, you could save your business an estimated £1,600 per year, the average cost of sickness absence per employee.

- Working for a healthier tomorrow, March 2008

How can a healthy workforce improve business performance?

With the number of people in Scotland of working age falling, it's becoming increasingly important to recruit and retain staff.

By simply promoting good health among workers and creating a positive environment to work, you could reduce employee turnover and recruitment costs. 

There are a number of other significant benefits of a healthy workforce. By encouraging and promoting a healthy workforce, you can improve:

  • productivity
  • business performance
  • staff morale
  • employee engagement.

You will also be able to reduce:

  • accidents and work-related ill health
  • sick pay costs
  • insurance costs
  • pressure on employees covering for those who are absent.

A healthy workforce can demonstrate corporate and social responsibility

The Scottish Government, Westminster and your customers expect you to have high standards of health, safety and wellbeing, as well as be socially responsible.

If you look after your employees, as well as the wider society, your business is likely to have a more positive public image.

Healthy Working Lives has more information on how your business can benefit from a healthier, safer workforce through participating in their award programme.

NHS inform

Find out more about an illness or condition that may affect you or your employees' work.

Visit NHS inform

Healthy Working Lives

Find out about the free services on offer that help employers create a healthier, safer and more motivated workforce

Visit Healthy Working LIves

Communications toolkit

A handy toolkit with posters and information to let your employees know about Fit for Work.

View the toolkit