Workplace Wellbeing Day Awards

· Awards recognise employers supporting best practice in workplace wellbeing
· Irish Life Assurance, Helsinn Birex and MCI take top honours

31st March 2017: The winners of the FDI National Workplace Wellbeing Awards were announced today, recognising Irish organisations that support and promote best practice in workplace wellbeing. Irish Life Assurance was named Ireland’s best large employer, while Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals took the honours in the medium size category. The award for best small company went to MCI (formerly Ovation Group), a Dublin destination management company. The awards, which are sponsored by Mercer, are part of the National Workplace Wellbeing Day programme, an initiative of Food Drink Ireland that is supported by Ibec.

Speaking at the award ceremony in Dublin, Dermot Doherty, Manager, FDI Health Strategy said: “There was strong competition for the awards across all categories, highlighting a growing interest in employee wellbeing among organisations of all sizes and sectors. Today, more employees have access to health and wellbeing initiatives within the workplace than ever before. We hope that these award winning companies will inspire an even greater number of employers to do more in this area by adopting a collaborative approach to employee wellbeing. Our recent study showed that only a quarter of Ireland’s workforce takes the recommended level of exercise and that most employees believe that a healthier diet and more exercise in the workplace are likely to provide greater energy and wellbeing. This in return, raises team moral, the overall culture of organisations and leads to higher productivity.”

Alan Quinlan, Principal, Mercer Health and Wellness, Award sponsors, said: “The issue today is that most employers focus their HR policies, benefit spend and management time on the typically small employee population of ill and long-term disabled people. Meanwhile, the majority population – those living with health risks, as opposed to problems – often go unsupported and, as a result, are in danger of crossing the wellness barrier into ill health. This can be prevented by engaging people through smart health initiatives, education, benefits and incentives and creating a supportive working environment and culture that promotes healthier choices. Ultimately, it’s not about spending more: it’s about targeting spend to have a bigger impact across the general population. Organisations that get this right actually make savings on benefits and reduce the costs associated with managing workplace health.”

The judges for the awards included John Treacy, CEO, Irish Sports Council, Mary Connaughton, Director, CIPD Ireland and Alan Quinlan, Principal - Mercer Health and Wellness . They commended the winners for their fresh and holistic approach to wellbeing and their seamless integration of it into the workplace.

The awards were among a host of activities taking place across the country to mark Ireland’s third National Workplace Wellbeing Day. Hundreds of employers from the public and private sectors supported National Workplace Wellbeing Day, which aims to improve employee health by promoting better nutrition and exercise in the workplace. They organised activities including health checks, exercise and fitness classes, nutrition talks and cookery demonstrations.