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Helping employees be the best they can be

Published: 03/02/2017

Unilver is supporting employees promote, maintain and enhance their health so they can maximise their fitness and, at the same time, improve their capacity to work safely and effectively. This benefits the individual and the business.

Unilever’s global strategy for Medical and Occupational Health has two core elements:

• health promotion – to promote, maintain and enhance the health of employees, maximising their wellness and enabling them to work safely and effectively.
• health protection – to protect employees from work-related hazards to their health, including in manufacturing facilities, ergonomically or while travelling.

The strategy includes targeted health promotions and health protection programmes, including our flagship Lamplighter programme. Lamplighter is Unilever’s worldwide programme for improving employee health. In 2017, it covered 74 countries, reaching around 75,000 employees.

Programmes such as this have important short- and long-term health and business benefits. In the short term, the company expects to see healthier, more motivated and more productive employees, with lower levels of sick leave. Unilever has identified the long-term benefits as achieving a sustainable workforce with long-lasting good health, happiness and purpose for our colleagues. And for the business, the company sees lower healthcare costs, which in turn also contribute to reducing the burden on public healthcare.

Unilever has commissioned multi-year studies to evaluate the return on investment of their health programmes. These analyses examined risk prevalence data across ten lifestyle-related risk factors from 2008 to 2017. The company also looked at data around programme participation, programme investments, and median annual compensation – which is used to determine productivity savings associated with changes in risk prevalence.

The aggregated results show that for every €1 spent on Lamplighter programmes, the company sees a return of €2.44 – indicating that good health really is good for business.

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