Female employees are more concerned than male employees regarding their health and wellbeing.
This is according to GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector which found that women are more concerned about stress and anxiety relating to overworking, the uncertainty of the future, worries about their finances and living with long-term illnesses.
The research found that 21 per cent of women vs 18 per cent of men feel stress or anxiety due to the pressures of the job or overworking. Also, 18 per cent of women vs 14 per cent of men are worried about their finances and debt and 14 per cent of women compared to 8 per cent of men are suffering from stress and anxiety due to living with a long-term health issue.
Men were slightly more concerned about how their job impacts their home life with 14 per cent of men vs 12 per cent of women. However, men and women were equally worried about their general lack of fitness due to their job.
I’m sure that these results will surprise some employers and challenge the stereotypes that can be associated with gender in the workplace, for instance with women being more concerned about finances than men, and men more concerned than women about issues relating to home life. With that in mind, it’s hugely important that employers do not make assumptions about the health and wellbeing needs of their workforce on gender, or of course, any other basis.
Changes in the law and workplace practices, such as shared parental leave, mean that work and home life are becoming much more balanced across both genders, and that needs to be reflected in the employee benefits that are offered to all staff.
Most members of staff will be healthy and well throughout their entire time at work but no-one can predict what is just around the corner in terms of family or work life. An additional project at home, an ill child, sudden responsibilities as a carer, or health problems can all be difficult for an employee to manage at the same time as trying to work. And that’s without adding in any extra work pressures such as vying for a promotion or pay rise, navigating a relocation, or new responsibilities, or of course, new challenges that we’ve seen with Covid-19.
No employer should expect their staff to leave their personal problems at the door any more but employers who have support mechanisms in place for their employees are able to intervene before the situation escalates, which is not only a great support for the individual but also mitigates the likelihood, frequency and length of any absence related to such issues.
GRiD spoke to 1,165 UK employees to gather these results.
Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.