“My remit is to work with workplaces across Lanarkshire but every health board in Scotland has a Healthy Working Lives team. On a national level, we link into the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives which also provides a free and confidential advice line that offers support and advice to employers and employees with one simple aim: to create a healthier workforce.”
One primary aim of the HWL team is to support employers and staff to develop and deliver a better working environment. While Martin recognises that this is an issue in some workplaces, especially SMEs who tend to push health down the agenda at a time of economic pressure, he stresses workplaces which do focus on staff health and wellbeing are often better equipped for difficult times.
“It is perfectly understandable for SMEs to concentrate on the bottom line,” says Martin. “That said, Healthy Working Lives can provide services in occupational health, health and safety and health improvement at no cost, and we have the evidence to show that good strategy does indeed impact positively on the bottom line.”