Press release 1 June 2023.
According to new research1 from GRiD, employers could be doing more to prevent ill-health among their staff, including taking steps to reduce the incidence of serious illnesses such as cancer. The industry body for the group risk sector’s research has revealed that nearly one in five employers (17%) do not offer any support that tackles the prevention of illness in their employees.
A minority2 of cancers can be attributed to genetics, but many are preventable3, and have their roots in lifestyle and environmental factors. On this National Cancer Survivors’ Day - which aims to raise awareness of cancer, sufferers, and survivors - GRiD urges employers to review the support they offer and to step things up if they could do more.
Some of the biggest lifestyle factors associated with cancer are well documented, including smoking, drinking alcohol, poor diet, obesity, physical inactivity, sun exposure, and stress, all of which can be modified with the right support. However, even among those employers who do specifically offer support to prevent ill-health, many could do more.
- Only 16% offer their staff a discounted gym, cycle, fitness, etc
- Only 15% offer initiatives to help staff manage stress and mental health
- Just 14% offer lifestyle support such as advice on nutrition, sleep, health and fitness
- And 13% offer apps that encourage better health behaviours
These types of measures and mechanisms can have a direct impact on the overall health of staff and can help mitigate against illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, stroke and liver disease.
It is important for employers to look after all of their staff but as employment rates for those of retiring age are on the rise4, many employers will find a significant proportion of their workforce is older and therefore potentially more vulnerable to ill-health from serious illness, including cancer. Offering the right support not only improves the physical and mental health of staff now but it can also be beneficial in reducing the types of illnesses that are associated with ageing too.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Many serious illnesses, including cancer, are preventable which is why it is so crucial that prevention plays a key role in employer health and wellbeing programmes.
“We can’t necessarily eliminate cancer entirely but encouraging healthy behaviours in staff is likely to help reduce their likelihood of getting the disease at some point in the future – especially if support helps turn poor lifestyle choices into heathier long-term habits.
“National Cancer Survivors’ Day is a day to celebrate the increasing number of people who are living beyond cancer, but employers can play their part in helping to reduce the numbers who are affected in the first place.”
- Ends –
- The research was undertaken by Opinium from 9-22 January 2023 among 503 HR decision-makers at UK businesses.
For further information please contact:
SMUK Marketing and PR
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508
Notes for editors
Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their well-being and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (head of technical, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.
GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.
GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.
Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham