Employees play a vital role in every business’s productivity and profitability, so it is equally important for employers to ensure their staff are both physically and mentally healthy. Ahead of Wellbeing in the Workplace London, Susan Gee,  group occupational health & wellbeing manager at Yorkshire Water discusses the importance and value of occupational health in the workplace 

What will you be addressing the Wellbeing in the Workplace audience about, and why?

I will be speaking about the role of occupational health in the workplace and explaining why it adds value, I will discuss the business case for OH and how it supports employee wellbeing and how it links to the wider public health agenda and supports government initiatives in terms of keeping people at work, more importantly, I will explain how OH can ensure that a company fulfils its legal obligations and how in providing it will also support employee engagement.

Why is it important for SMEs in particular to hear this?

The health of the nation’s workforce is in the hands of employers and all employers irrespective of the size of their company have a legal duty of care for their employees, there are expectations that employers will demonstrate ethical and moral business practice and engaging with OH demonstrates corporate social responsibility

What’s your involvement/experience in this area?

I have been involved in OH for the past 22 years, I worked with Local Authority where there were 25,000 employees and I have also supported small to medium sized companies to develop their OH offering. I am a guest lecturer at Leeds Beckett University my specialist subject being the management of sickness absence and well-being initiatives in the workplace.

Why should attendees come along to the conference, where you will be taking part and sharing a case study?

The Government and the HSE are committed to improving the working lives of employees of all ages, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a paper in 2017 entitled Healthy workplaces; improving employee mental and physical health and wellbeing , there is a clear expectation that good employers will want to get involved and those who don’t will place themselves at a disadvantage, attending this conference is a good way to hear from industry experts in health and wellbeing that can help an SME either start their workplace wellbeing journey or enhance what they have in place.