Apr 18, 2017
There is strong and growing evidence that work and health and wellbeing are closely and strongly linked and need to be addressed together. In June 2014, Public Health England (PHE) published a set of national standards for workplace health for the first time — the Workplace Wellbeing Charter (WWC or Charter), which was developed with the charity Health@Work and Liverpool County Council and was based on their scheme and others from around the country.
The national standards aimed to introduce a level of coherence and consistency across the country to support local authorities that had different programmes, with their own standards and reporting requirements, or were planning to introduce them. The national standards provide a universal baseline for local areas to commission or provide their schemes against, harmonising the core of existing schemes and allowing other elements to be tailored to local needs and interests. The WWC is designed to provide employers with a systematic, evidence-based approach to workplace health improvement.
While the need for employers to act on workplace health and wellbeing is unequivocal and the practice of bringing together resources within a coherent approach is valid, there has been limited research into the impact of the WWC as a method. This study investigates the take-up and impact of the WWC, maps available data on the number of organisations accredited with the Charter across England and provides insights into a diverse range of organisations that have invested in the wellbeing of staff in their workplaces.
While the study identified a number of improvements in policies, infrastructure and the provision of wellbeing programmes by participating organisations — such as sickness absence, job satisfaction and staff morale — these changes could not be unambiguously attributed to the WWC accreditation and the wellbeing activities, in part due to lack of available information on outputs (the overall number of wellbeing events and initiatives) and outcomes (staff participation data). However, amongst other findings, the study identified a number of areas where the WWC contributed to making a positive difference to the accredited organisations and their staff:
Conclusions and recommendations
Data request from PHE to providers
Case study template