Research results and encouragement from governments and health organisations have led many employers to offer health-improvement initiatives for their staffs.
There is broad agreement that an active lifestyle and a balanced diet have a positive effect on people’s physical and mental well-being and performance – at work as well as generally. Still, many employers are concerned about crossing the line between workplace matters and personal life.
The issue is not an easy one to resolve: Are corporate health programmes an invasion of the employee’s privacy?
It is obvious that employer intervention is appropriate in cases of alcohol or drug abuse that directly affects the employee’s ability to work. If the health risks stem from smoking or obesity, on the other hand, they might cause above-average absence because of illness, but a skilled employee will still be able to perform. Health-promoting initiatives therefore involve a risk of being perceived as representing a disrespect for the individual employee and his or her lifestyle choices.
At the Danske Bank Group, we recognise the role of the workplace in health promotion. At the same time, we respect the fact that health is essentially an individual and personal matter. Participation in group-wide and local health-promoting initiatives is therefore always strictly voluntary. In this area, we want to provide – but not prescribe – opportunities for positive lifestyle changes.
Also read our position on quotas for women in management.
Last updated on 9 February 2012