Last week saw Health Information week 2019, running from the 1st to the 7th July. Health Information week is a national, multi-sector campaign aiming to promote the availability of high quality information for patient and the public.

e-days Absence Management chose Health Information Week to launch their new NHS Wellbeing Module, available to all new and existing clients, providing employers and employees direct access to high quality healthcare information directly within their absence management system.

A spokesman said:

“The launch reaffirms e-days continued commitment to deliver a world class absence management system that enables any company to manage holiday and sickness absence more efficiently, increasing productivity and facilitating more proactive management of employee wellbeing.”

e-days has become the first absence management software provider to give direct access to the NHS health and wellbeing database, providing employers and employees with quick and easy access to a library of resources to help manage sickness absence.  The company explained that the module was introduced in response to a rise in the importance employers and employees are placing on health and wellbeing within the workplace.

The module delivers  two key benefits, from a front-end user (employee) perspective it offers advice and a portal to go to for help without having to ask for it from a healthcare professional or seek out another online source.

Meanwhile, employers now have the ability to attach links to advice directly into sickness logging and return to work forms – this means that, for example, HR can add a link to a ‘how to prevent flu’ page to someone who has recently been off with the flu.

Clare Avery, Head of People and Culture, e-days Absence Management answered some questions for our readers:

  • Why would direct access to a health and wellbeing module within an absence management system be useful for HR teams and employees?

“The new module enables employers to access all the information they need to support health and wellbeing in the workplace, from one place.  Having wellbeing guidance and information at your fingertips is really beneficial for employers and HR so they can proactively support absence.

“For example, managing incidents of stress or re-occurring illness can be really challenging for both employees, and for line managers wanting to provide meaningful support. Having one place to collate and access absence data alongside a portal of information to give you advice and guidance on how to support employees proactively is a game changer.

“Line managers have to juggle high volumes of work and complexity on a daily basis – e-days takes away the burden around managing absence and supports managers to make a positive difference within their teams.

  • What has brought about the recent importance placed on employee health and wellbeing and an organisations responsibility towards ensuring a high level of employee wellbeing?

“Employees entering the workforce for the first time are challenging traditional concepts of what is or what is not important at work. Individuals are increasingly motivated to work for organisations that proactively support the wellness of their employees; organisations who show a genuine commitment to look after the people who develop deliver success for that business.

“Increasingly a ‘good’ organisation to work for is one that provides an environment that goes beyond traditional employee wellbeing support like a private medical scheme. It is one that proactively invests time and resource in understanding how employees are feeling and configuring an environment that nurtures wellbeing.

“Recent research promotes the concept that happy and healthy employees will work more productively and will be more committed to stay working for longer for that organisation. This is in addition the benefits of a reduction in time spent away from the office with sickness absence.”

  • What sort of trends do you envisage emerging over the next twelve months around health and wellbeing in the workplace?

“Health and wellbeing will continue to be a major topic for HR teams and managers, with an increased focus more on mental health, not just physical health. Organisations need to challenge themselves to look beneath the exterior that individuals portray and to understand how the workplace might be contributing to stress, depression, anxiety etc, or how better to support personal issues that could impact working lives.

“Organisations are starting to train up and champion Mental Health first aiders who are trained to spot the signs of mental health issues and start to develop communications and proactive plans to support individuals. The return to work interview will need to change, and managers will need to be trained to dig deeper in those meetings, engage employees so they feel able to trust their managers and begin to discuss mental health problems.

“In addition to this, there will be more focus on the working environment as a key to enhanced wellbeing: adaptable working spaces, ability to work flexibly (whenever) and from home/coffee shops etc (wherever), a greater level of attention for the employee’s family and how individuals manage work/home life (as well as leave options for new additions or caring responsibilities) and how tech can make a difference to how individuals connect with organisations/their line managers/their work.”