SPECIAL FEATURE INSURANCE SECURING A HEALTHY FUTURE Vicki Leslie, client relationship manager for ECIS, looks at the tools employers can use to provide a working environment that supports the health of employees and helps cuts sickness absence levels. I n a time of political change and uncertainty, the engineering services sector is in good shape according to the latest business survey by our parent company, the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA). Certainly, good shape in terms of turnover and business prospects – but what about the health of people working within this sector? Businesses are only as good as the people behind them so looking after the health and wellbeing of employees is becoming a key focus for many firms. 60 | July 2017 Eighty per cent of contractors encourage employees to have a healthy lifestyle This is evidenced not just in the increasing number of wellbeing programmes ECIS is supporting in the contracting sector, but in a recent survey, we found 80 per cent of contractors actively encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst employees, and 86 per cent of workers would feel comfortable talking to their employer about a health issue that may impact their work. This is incredibly positive news and a real step change in business culture. Part of this may be down to the employment market we’re in right now. The contracting sector is facing skills shortages and the electrical sector has not been immune. From the survey feedback we received, 30 per cent of electrical contractors said skills shortages were having a serious impact on their businesses and 40 per cent said their business had been impacted marginally. It figures that attracting and retaining skills, whilst reducing workplace absence will be front of mind for contractors right now and many are already seeing how a working environment that supports the health of employees benefits their business in numerous ways.