H6. Staff Health Checks
1 January, 2013
Submitted: 5 April, 2013
Since launching in the UK in 2006, ARAG has improved its benefits package year-on-year but health/wellbeing benefits have been overlooked other than for a select few senior executives. This historical approach was challenged in 2012 when we discovered that our traditionally very low sickness absence rate was steadily climbing; we quite simply questioned our responsibility for the health of our staff and concluded that we could and should be more pro-active and involved.
In 2013 ARAG will roll out its “ARAGCare” programme; our ‘Health and Wellbeing’ initiative that will address various aspects of staff wellbeing including health screening. All staff will be entitled to an onsite biennial health check paid for by the Company (in work time). Moreover, those employees over the age of 40 will instead be entitled to a more comprehensive off-site medical paid for by the Company. Whilst it is yet to be decided which partner we will use to roll out this new benefit, the potential suppliers include: Bupa (http://www.bupa.co.uk/business/small-business/business-health-assessments) and Nuffield (http://www.nuffieldhealth.com/corporate-wellbeing/corporate-health-services/health-assessments).
These offerings are regardless of grade, length of service and/or other distinctions. As such we targeting an uptake rate of over 70% and will gear communications and initiatives towards this goal.
Under the umbrella of ARAGCare we will also provide staff with easy access to information about complementary services provided by the NHS and other third party service providers. We will also issue communications about the importance of maintaining one’s health and how best to go about this.
ARAGCare will also provide subsidised access to gym memberships and other health and wellbeing lead initiatives related to our health checks.
TOMORROW AND BEYOND
This is not a one-off initiative but instead a long-term commitment to the health of our staff. Regardless of the level, each health check will yield informative and comparable results for each individual. This will empower our staff to take control of something they may often take for granted and allow them to identify areas for improvement. With biennial screening (at first) staff will be able to see this improvement in action and hopefully this will in turn motivate them further to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle to the benefit of themselves and the Company.
ARAG is also looking at a number of flexible benefit providers which, if launched, could open up discounted access to health cash plans, health insurance and/or additional screening services.
Our humble entry to staff wellbeing means ARAG is well placed to improve on its offerings in the future; the frequency of and level of health check, the provision of insurance and/or employee assistance programmes can and will always be reviewed.