The Workplace Wellbeing Award North Yorkshire

Our aim is to make North Yorkshire a more productive and healthier place to work, by encouraging employers to commit to improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce, and by recognising those who have already made that commitment.

We want to help you create a culture of health and wellbeing that aligns with your organisation’s overall goals, enhances your reputation, and makes your organisation a great place to work.

Improved employee health and wellbeing has been shown to bring benefits to organisations which include reduced sickness absence, reduced staff turnover, increased employee satisfaction, a higher company profile, and higher productivity.

The Workplace Wellbeing Award is for organisations who want to be recognised for their achievements in improving the health and wellbeing of their staff.

Why is workplace health and wellbeing important?

From an employers’ perspective there are many benefits to investing in workplace wellbeing, as healthy staff are more productive, take less time off sick and are less likely to need to retire early. Nationally, there is a growing body of evidence to show that workplaces with health and wellbeing programmes have:

• improved the health of their staff, enhanced their productivity and have a more sustainable and motivated workforce
• reduced absenteeism and presenteeism
• reduced workplace health risks, helping to meet their duty of care
• improved employee job satisfaction and retention
• financial benefits which outweigh the costs
• staff who are better equipped to deal with change and manage stress
• enhanced their reputation and standing in the local community

Locally, North Yorkshire County Council is the region’s largest employer with a workforce exceeding 15,000 people. It has benefitted from the introduction of a number of wellbeing initiatives including a healthy workplace group which promotes health campaigns and staff led activities. The Council has also signed up to be a Mindful Employer which demonstrates a commitment to recruit and retain staff who have mental health issues. As a result there has been an increase in employee engagement, a positive culture change around attitudes towards mental health and a reduction in staff absenteeism.

Nationally the workforce is ageing with a third of all workers aged 50 or over. As the State Pension Age has been raised there is a greater need to manage long-term conditions in the workplace, to ensure that the ageing workforce is a healthy one.

Some key facts about workplace health and wellbeing

Costs of ill health:

The 2017 Britain’s healthiest workplace report, found that productive working days lost due to physical and mental health issues cost the UK economy approximately

billion a year

million working days

In the UK 118.6 million working days were lost to sickness or injury in 2020 (ONS), which equates to 3.6 days lost per worker. (NB. this figure is affected by furloughed workers). There are four main reasons for sickness absence in the UK; the 2020 figures are:

Minor illnesses, 26.1 million days lost
Other conditions (includes covid-19)
23.5 million days lost
Musculoskeletal problems,
20.8 million days lost
Mental health conditions
15.9 million days lost


While the overall rate of sickness absence has fallen since 2009,
absence due to self-reported work-related stress, anxiety or depression
has increased with the year 2019/20 significantly higher than the previous year. (HSE, 2020)

In Yorkshire and the Humber 2% of working days are lost due to sickness, compared with a national sickness absence rate of 1.8% for the UK as a whole. (ONS, 2020)


Over the last 5 years North Yorkshire Council Public Health have successfully supported organisations to develop their approach to good employee health through the North Yorkshire Workplace Well-Being Award; an evidence based framework focused on supporting a healthy workforce from large organisations to small-to-medium enterprises.

We are currently reviewing the award, how it is applied and how to make engagement in workplace health development easier and more rewarding. Whilst we complete this review, the current well-being award application process is paused.  You can however still find information on how to build a healthy workforce commitment and culture in your organisation.  This information is available from: