Work plays a significant role in most people’s lives – over the course of a lifetime the average Briton will spend 3,507 days at work and this can profoundly impact a person’s health, well-being, and safety.

Promoting well-being in the workplace is an important, but often difficult task for employers. The challenge is to ensure that your employees feel comfortable both physically and mentally. The latest survey from the ONS on the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace has shown that many are finding working from home difficult and that women are particularly concerned about their physical health and safety in the workplace.

What does this mean for employers in reality? Taking it back to basics, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 imposes a general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This is further supplemented by the the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which explicitly spell out what steps employers must take to manage health and safety.

From a practical perspective, going above and beyond these general duties will help your business to thrive economically, as promoting good health enables organisations to prosper and provides spill-over benefits to other domains. Good employee health and well-being also boosts productivity and improves workplace culture. This brings associated financial advantages, such as reduced absenteeism costs and can help to improve an employer's reputation/organisational image.

As the return to work becomes ever-more likely for many employees, now is the time to consider reviewing what initiatives and policies you already have in place to promote well-being in the workplace and to assess whether more needs to be done.