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A new report shows that the UK economy could be boosted by approximately £0.5 billion if there was a stop to a tax on workplace health support – meaning that 3.8 million sick days a year could be prevented.

The report which was titled Getting Britain Fit for the Recovery found that if the current tax on workplace health was removed then it could see small to medium businesses (SME’s) making productivity gains of around £280m per year. Larger companies could possibly see gains of around £160m which would see a total of approximately £445m every year for UK businesses.  This could have a profound impact on the climate of the economy each year.

Within the details of the report found that the Sickness Absence Review puts tax receipts from employer’s costs on workplace health support for basic rate taxpayers at around £150m.  By eradicating these taxes would mean that an extra 2.3 million UK workers would be able to receive workplace support which, in turn, would be able to reduce the number of sick days in the UK by 3.8 million, therefore boosting the UK economy.

Not only would employees be taking time off but the overall workforce, through these schemes, would be healthier and this generally leads to a more productive happy workforce.

The type of services that would be offered is health assessments, on-site services and health insurance.  The report also stated that the 500 businesses that were surveyed less than half do not provide any sort of facilities that provide support and assist their employee’s wellbeing.  SME’s were less likely to provide these services than larger firms.

Seventy per cent of the companies which did not offer workplace well being programmes stated that the tax on employers was a major consideration when drafting their annual budgets for the financial year ahead.  A further 57 per cent of employers would consider adopting wellness schemes in the workplace if they abolished the taxes.

As the modern workforce is working longer hours and more demanding, target orientated jobs throughout the UK are appearing people are succumbing to mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety.  As these issues come to the fore companies are being leaned on by governmental agencies to provide better services to their employees and it seems more and more companies are receptive to the idea of offering wellbeing schemes if it wasn’t for the employers tax.

Whether or not the government decide to act upon these companies requests are another thing.  Never would a government be so easily persuaded to change its tax laws and helps it people now would they…….?

Jenny Jones writes on behalf of AXA PPP healthcare and has contributed to many blogs including Followhealth and bmi4sme.