Two Liverpool businesses are the first to be awarded the new Workplace Wellbeing Charter, an award for businesses committed to workplace health.

Muirhead Dental Practice and Rotunda College received the charter in recognition of their achievements in improving staff health and well being.

The Charter is an initiative by Liverpool Primary Care Trust (PCT), designed to get organisations to think about the health of their staff. It provides a simple framework to follow and acknowledges the effort of businesses that promote a healthy working environment.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool PCT said: “Getting involved in the Charter is a way for employers and organisations to demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellbeing of the people who work for them. We believe it will not only improve the wellbeing of individuals, but also create benefits that will impact on the overall success of an organisation.

Frances Mollloy, Chief Executive of Liverpool Charity [email protected] which is supporting the role out of the Workplace Wellbeing Charter and advising businesses on how they can create healthy workplaces, awarded the charter to the two businesses.

Frances said: “The Workplace Wellbeing Charter is a pilot scheme which has the potential to go Europe wide in the future. Firms that work hard to improve the health and well being of staff should be recognised, and the charter is a way of doing this.”

She added: “We are working with a number of businesses at the moment to help them improve their workplace wellbeing and achieve the charter, and we are looking for more businesses to access the free advice and support we offer and work towards Charter recognition.”

Pauline Bedford from Muirhead dental practice said: “We’re really proud to have achieved the Charter and everyone has worked very hard to make our workplace a healthier place. We have made several improvements to the practice such as having free fruit delivered which has encouraged people to eat healthier and working with [email protected] to help support staff who want to give up smoking.”

According to Frances there is clear evidence that shows a direct link between employee health and wellbeing and financial benefits for the organisations. Some national organisations implementing their own wellbeing initiatives have recorded a 95% improvement in sickness absence rates and have reduced staff turnover by 25%.

The Charter focuses on seven key areas – leadership; sickness and absence management; alcohol and substance misuse; smoking; mental health and stress; healthy eating and physical activity.