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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Government publishes new ‘Fitness at Work’ guidance for businesses

The UK government is encouraging businesses to get their staff more physically active, as part of efforts to make the workforce healthier and more productive.

The Fitness at Work guidance, produced in collaboration with ukactive, highlights how businesses can harness the tax system and encourage physical activity among their employees by making it cheaper and easier for them to work out.

It lists examples on how companies can go about setting up a gym at a place of work or to negotiate discounted membership rates at local gyms and leisure centres.

The guidance also details how companies can utilise the Benefits in Kind and Making Good tax practices, which allow companies to pass on the discounted rates they negotiate with gyms directly to staff.

Employers looking to engage with nearby fitness facilities are signposted to ukactive’s ‘Find a gym’ tool, which lists gyms, leisure centres and activity providers operating in their local area.

"Helping your staff to be physically active at work can bring a number of benefits to you as an employer and doesn’t have to be difficult," the guidance states.

"This guidance provides some advice you can put into practice straight away to help your workforce become healthier."

According to government figures, 1.3 million workers suffered from work-related ill-health during the 2016-17 tax year, which resulted in 25.7 million working days lost.

At an estimated expense of £522 per employee, the figure means that absenteeism could be costing UK business up to £32bn per year.

“Employers have a vital role to play in overturning the physical inactivity crisis," said ukactive CEO Steven Ward.

"So we are delighted the government has highlighted the myriad of ways that businesses can help get their employees more active.

“Cost and time have been cited as two key barriers to physical activity – this guidance highlights the opportunity for employers to make physical activity the cheap and easy option for their staff."

To download the new guidance, click here.

To view ukactive's Find a Gym tool, click here.

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