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The search for Britain’s Healthiest Company is on

Registration for national workplace wellness survey opens
2014 survey revealed lost workplace productivity of £58bn due to sick leave

London, UK – WEBWIRE

VitalityHealth (formerly PruHealth), the health insurer and wellness programme provider and Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, have today launched Britain’s Healthiest Company 2015It aims to find and celebrate the country’s most outstanding organisations demonstrating best practice and innovative approaches to looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff.

Britain’s Healthiest Company, the largest national study in the UK, gives employers valuable insights into the wellbeing of their workers and celebrates those companies supporting health in the workplace. Companies with at least 50 employees are invited sign up to participate in the survey which will comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of workplace wellness programmes and the health of the workforce.

The study analyses lifestyle, behavioural and clinical risk factors including weight, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, stress, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, blood pressure as well as how often people attend health screenings to monitor and understand their health.

Neville Koopowitz, chief executive of VitalityHealth, said: “The pervasive effect our lifestyles have not only on our own health, but that of the economy as well, is startling. When we calculated the Vitality Age of the respondents to the 2014 survey, it was almost four years older than the real age. Our workforce is, in effect, four years older than it should be. This has a dramatic impact on productivity.

“As this is the third time we have conducted the survey the results will be particularly interesting as it will start to show us a direction of travel for employee health.”

Britain’s Healthiest Company 2014 surveyed over 25,000 employees from 82 companies across a diverse range of industries and employer sizes. The research, which was undertaken by the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, revealed that sick leave and presenteeism (working while unwell) costs companies, on average, 7.7% of their yearly wage bill. This translated into an estimated total cost of lost productivity to the UK economy of over £58 billion per year*.

The report signalled a stark warning of a dormant health time bomb, with nearly two thirds (62%) of employees having at least two bad lifestyle choices that put them at serious risk of future ill health. The findings highlight the strong link between these lifestyle risk factors, employees’ health and their performance at work, looking at areas such as: absenteeism, productivity, engagement, and presenteeism.  It found that employers are typically left to pick up the bill as unhealthy staff take more time off sick and under-perform at work. 

Chris Bailey, Head of Corporate Consulting for Employee Health and Benefits at Mercer commented: “The results from the last two years of Britain’s Healthiest Company suggest that organisations investing in the health of their employees are rewarded with a competitive advantage. The data shows that, of the 2014 participants of Britain’s Healthiest Company, the top 20% healthiest companies had 37% less ‘lost productivity’ than the survey average. This should place wellness firmly on the agenda of boardrooms nationally"

Each participating company will receive a confidential Corporate Health Report, which will provide employers with a holistic view of employee wellbeing, as well as unique benchmarking information that can be used to inform future HR and People strategies.

The report provides an effective approach to measure and manage the health risks within an organisation; understand how these risks impact employee engagement and productivity levels; and a set of practical recommendations on how to manage these risks.

For more information and how to register, please visit

Notes to Editors

*The Britain’s Healthiest Company process comprehensively evaluated the health of both the workplace and workforce, looking at a number of lifestyle, behavioural, environmental and clinical risk factors amongst 25,102 employees, together with a broad view of corporate policies, practices and facilities that could directly impact on employee health, across 82 companies. The research took place between 1st March-1st July 2014.

Based on the ONS figures in July 2014, which show that the average weekly wages in the UK are £474 (£24,648 a year) (  ONS figures for the period Feb-Apr 2014 show that 30.54 million people in the UK are in work ( 

The average annual cost of absenteeism and presenteeism of the 25,102 staff that were interviewed for this part of the Britain’s Healthiest Company research is 7.78% of their companies wage bill. The calculation is based on the assumption that the sampled companies are representative for the UK. The companies that took part consider themselves to be leading the way and highly engaged in health and wellness, therefore this figure is likely to be a conservative representation of UK companies.

2014 winners

Britain’s Healthiest Company - Large (1000+ eligible employees)

1st Nomura

2nd Quintiles

3rd BNP Paribas

Britain’s Healthiest Company - Medium (250-999 eligible employees)

1st adidas (UK) Ltd

2nd Discovery Networks

3rd iris Worldwide

Britain’s Healthiest Company - Small (50-249 eligible employees)

1st Gilead Sciences Ltd

2nd Forrester Research Limited

3rd Grey Matter Ltd.

Vitality – changing health and life insurance for good

Vitality is the new name for PruHealth and PruProtect, the insurance business that helps people understand how they can improve their own personal health. Vitality makes it cheaper and easier for its members to get healthy and gives them rewards to keep them motivated, through a range of discounts and incentives.

Vitality has partnered with a number of Vitality Ambassadors, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sebastian Coe and Jonny Wilkinson, who are role models who embody the values of Vitality. They are all using their passion for living a healthy lifestyle to motivate others to make positive changes. Taking small steps today can dramatically improve wellbeing over the long-term, regardless of your current state of health.

VitalityHealth is one of the UK’s leading private medical insurers and has pioneered the ‘shared-value’ insurance model. This is a unique approach which delivers value for Vitality members through rewards and ultimately better health. Society as a whole also benefits, as the company’s profits, which come about as a result of people being healthier and claiming less often, are redirected into the programme in the form of incentives, which in turn encourages yet more healthy activity. For more information

About Mercer
Mercer is a global leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth, and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in 42 countries and the firm operates in more than 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital. With over 55,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $12 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerInsights.


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