Wellbeing and inclusion

Wellbeing and inclusion are essential for a happy, high performing and productive workforce.



Organisations should create health and wellness as a core value and foundation pillar in building strong sustainable people orientated organisations.

When engagement scores are low, and managers and leaders sense morale and productivity are suffering, at what point should they look at the health and wellbeing policies, be brave and ask, what else needs to change?

Financial wellbeing

With over two million people in the UK taking out high cost loans each year and the average individual debt hitting £8,000, stress and anxiety arising from financial worries is also on the rise. In London, where the cost of living is now ranked the second highest in the world, this is problem that faces many people trying to progress in their personal lives.

Hackney Borough Council

The HR Team at Hackney Borough Council recognised that employees had received below inflation pay rises for the past few years and were under constant pressure to finance their personal lives. In response, Hackney decided to be the first local authority to launch salary-linked employee loans in December 2016.  In its first year the solution, provided by Salary Finance, has truly changed people’s lives.

Over 100 employees are currently benefiting from the offering and saving close to £110,000 in interest costs. In addition, the solution provides necessary and important financial education as well as tools that help them to start saving.

North Somerset Council

In May 2017, North Somerset Council added a new suite of financial wellbeing products to its employee benefits package. Provided by Salary Finance, the payroll-administered loan, education and savings benefits are encouraging staff to manage their finances better, thereby reducing stress associated with money worries.

At no risk or cost to the council, the Salary Finance benefits were quickly introduced and have already delivered an average saving of £1,029 for those who have taken advantage of them.

Flexible working and work-life balance

The term flexible working is used to describe many different styles of working, including:

  • part-time hours
  • job sharing
  • extended hours
  • working from home
  • compressed hours
  • flexi-time.

It can mean a whole range of different things, and different types of arrangement will suit different people.

The concept of flexible working has evolved over the past decade to be part of an employer’s overall engagement and wellbeing agenda.

It’s good for retention, it’s good for morale and it gives people the ability to have more balance, which is good from a health perspective. As long as employers can balance that with the needs of the business, then it’s a win-win situation for everybody.

Disability and flexibility

Over seven million people (nearly 20 per cent) of the working age population in the UK are disabled or have a long term health condition.

Whilst many organisations are good at supporting their current employees with health issues, very few are trying to attract and retain this group. But with the current Work and Health agenda setting stretching targets to get more people into work, what practical steps can councils take to create the kind of roles which will work well for people with disabilities or health conditions?

By building a reputation as a Disability Confident employer that actively seeks out and hires skilled disabled people, you will be helping to positively change attitudes, behaviours and cultures, not just in your organisation but in your networks, supply chains, and the communities around you.