Insights

Why is wellbeing more than just a statutory requirement?

Wellbeing at work has never been more important. And while having a wellbeing policy and prevention plan is now required by law, not every employer is clear on the details. What do you need to know and how can you take a step in the right direction? Read on and we'll give you the highlights.

 

Wellbeing legislation: roles and responsibilities?

The Law on Workplace Wellbeing was first introduced on 4 August 1996, to create a framework for employers in the area of health and safety for their employees. For the first twenty years, the main focus of this law was general safety and health at work, but its scope was later extended on 28 February 2014 to include prevention of psychosocial hazards, beside health protection, hygiene, ergonomics and tidiness in the workplace.

It’s clear that the legislation covers a wide range of issues. How can you, as an employer, make sure you address all of them? Each company with at least one employee needs to set up an internal department for prevention and protection in the workplace. One or more staff members can then be appointed as (a) prevention advisor(s). They will be asked to conduct group risk analyses on a regular basis to identify potential threats and sources of psychosocial strain. Administrative tasks are also part of their duties, such as drawing up monthly and annual reports. Finally, they will also have specific tasks to carry out, such as defining first aid and internal emergency procedures. Does your company have a headcount of less than 20 staff members? If so, you can appoint yourself as an advisor.

Fortunately, as an employer, you don't have to do everything all on your own. You are even required to call upon an "External Service for Prevention & Protection" for assistance, a committee of multiple advisors who focus on four separate areas.

  • The prevention advisor/occupational physician for general health
  • The prevention advisor in psychosocial hazards for psychosocial wellbeing
  • The prevention advisor in ergonomics for the most suitable working conditions
  • The prevention advisor in occupational safety and hygiene for safety and hygiene in the workplace

 

Important: one advisor may cover more than one of these areas, but not all of them.

 

Statutory requirements vs holistic policy

While it's certainly important to comply with the statutory requirements, setting up a quality wellbeing policy is even better. In this respect, many companies are still faced with a conundrum: how do they make it happen? With positive effects in the short and long term? In these uncertain times, this has become more important than ever: just look at the rising rates of burnout syndrome and the psychological consequences of the coronavirus crisis as the business world tries to adjust to the new normal.

 

Scan & assess – implement – activate & promote

Thanks to its wellbeing solution My Health Partner, AG Health Partner supports companies in the definition and implementation of a holistic vision. A vision that addresses mental, social and physical wellbeing in its entirety. In more practical terms, we start things off with a comprehensive mapping of your employees' needs. this can for example be done through a psychosocial risk analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, which will help identify current perceptions of the company's wellbeing approach.

Based on the findings, a wellbeing vision and action plan that will address all of the above dimensions can be set up for your organisation. This holistic approach is the basis for a sustainable wellbeing policy!

once the vision and plan have been defined, it's time for concrete actions. your dedicated wellbeing manager helps you select the tools on My Health Partner that are the most appropriate to your specific organisation. Each of these tools has an evidence-based foundation and places interactivity in the centre, as participation and engagement of staff members is often a major challenge for employers.

Because all your wellbeing initiatives are gathered under one roof, it becomes much easier to communicate about them in a structured way to your employees. this crucial - and yet often overlooked - step in the whole process, is critical to ensure all your efforts were not in vain.

Want to find out more about the statutory requirements and/or how to come up with and implement with a holistic wellbeing policy? Feel free to contact us!