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The most important day of work? Day one.

In July, the government published its delayed response to the ‘Health is Everyone’s Business’ consultation. The response was welcome, with measures designed to minimise short and long-term sickness absence from work. But the need for better guidance and support to help employers build healthier workplaces is now greater than ever.  

Woman typing on laptop 600x400.jpgEmployers want to do more to build healthier workplaces 

Many surveys suggest that employers want to do more to support the health and wellbeing of their employees. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of health and wellbeing in work to support happy and productive employees, and, what’s more, employers increasingly believe that they have a moral duty to look after their employees’ health.  

Research carried out by the ABI with Norstat last November showed 60% of SMEs acknowledge that providing health and wellbeing benefits has a high impact on supporting the productivity of their company. This sentiment is supported by research by the Mental Health Foundation that found supporting employee wellbeing can increase productivity by as much as 12%. 

But with the end of most Covid-related restrictions, companies are busy adapting to the ‘new normal’ and employers have plenty on their minds – they need simple solutions. So what can they do to support employee wellbeing? 

A legal requirement provides an opportunity to support employees’ health and wellbeing from day one 

In April 2020, new rules came into force setting out the information workers are entitled to receive from their employer about benefits when they start a new job. A ‘written statement of employment particulars’ – or ‘Day One Statement’ as it is simply known – must show details such as hours of work and holiday entitlement, but there is so much more that can be included. Although employers don’t have to provide details of other available benefits that support employees’ health and wellbeing. this is an opportunity to go further that should not be missed.  

A Day One Statement might be a legal requirement, but it also provides a platform to enable employers to take simple steps to support employees and nurture their wellbeing. 

Rather than communicating the minimum, employers can use the Statement to help to ensure new employees are aware of all the measures their employers take to support their wellbeing. This might be about holiday entitlements, access to health services, returning to work after illness or injury, or simply the flexibility to take exercise during the working day.  

Communicate what you have before you look to provide more 

We know that many employees are not taking advantage of the benefits and services offered to them because they aren’t aware of them or forget they exist.  

It’s good news that according to AON’s latest Benefits and Trends survey, 86% of employers surveyed now prioritise employee communications as a result of the pandemic. But too often, communications are not effective. The benefits that employers provide for their workforce are often revealed in an ad hoc fashion during the course of a person’s employment and as a result, use and appreciation of those services is low. 

Maximising Day One Statements is a simple step to turn a legal obligation into a health and wellbeing opportunity. Day one is the most important day of work because it is when employees are most engaged in learning about their new employer, which means the Statements are a real chance for employers shout about everything they offer from the start.    

Five simple steps  

So, the opportunity is there, but where do you start? The ABI – supported by the CBI, Group Risk Development (GRiD) and others – has launched a range of free online information to help businesses navigate the requirement and harness the benefits. This also includes an expanded Day One Statement template to share additional information on the health and wellbeing benefits available, from gym memberships to mental health support, life insurance or online GP access. 

The information includes five simple steps employers can take to improve awareness of existing benefits and support, whatever they might be. These include: 

  1. Identifying workers who are now entitled to a Day One Statement  
  2. Checking your policies are up to date to communicate correct information  
  3. Using the statement to support workplace wellbeing and boost productivity  
  4. Helping staff stay engaged by providing statements to them every year   
  5. Exploring what other action you can take to support wellbeing  

 As the voice of the insurance industry, we know that insurance schemes, such as income protection and private health insurance, can provide vital support for employees with their mental, physical and financial health. But we also know that insurance is only one solution and might not be the right one for all. 

Quick and simple solutions – especially those that build on existing obligations meaning you can make the most of what’s already in place – can often be the most effective. We all need those in these challenging and uncertain times. 

This article first appeared on the MyCBI website. Go to the ABI’s dedicated webpages to find out more about Day One Statements and download our free template.

Download this free template to help build better Day One Statements


Last updated 20/08/2021