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Mental health and ‘hidden conditions’ top health concerns for employers

A third are worried about serious illnesses like cancer

Mental health and hidden or symptomless conditions like high blood pressure and the main health and wellbeing concerns employers have about their staff, a poll suggests.

The survey of 500 HR decision makers from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare found 49% were concerned about mental health and 37% were concerned about symptomless conditions.

This was followed closely by serious illnesses like cancer (33%).

Temporary issues like headaches, migraines and dry eyes were also stated as one of the main health and wellbeing concerns by 30% of employers.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, said symptomless conditions can go unnoticed and while temporary conditions like headaches and migraines may not be life-threatening, they can be debilitating and affect productivity.

“As an optician may be a key person who is able to help, eye care can play an important role in supporting health and wellbeing in the workplace,” he claimed.

The survey found 43% of HR professionals said the reason their employees take up workplace eye care benefits is to check for wider health conditions.

However, the majority of employers still think their employees take up eye care benefits to check their eye health and vision, while half take up eye care to meet with health and safety regulations.

“The new year is a good opportunity to assess existing benefits and to introduce new policies,” added Lythgow. “We recommend that all employers reflect on the much wider benefits of offering eye care and consider how it could offer advantages to employees and the company alike.”