Inspire summer 2024

The latest health and wellbeing news from Towergate Health & Protection

How to become a sustainable business

With 92% of the UK population believing plastic pollution is a concern, the demand for businesses to become plastic free or more sustainable – or at least address their degree of plastic consumption volume – has never been greater.1


Recent studies found that 71% of workers consider a company’s environmental impact when exploring new job roles, and 40% of millennials have chosen one job over another due to their sustainability credentials.2 As recruitment becomes ever more competitive and our world overloaded by pollution, aligning your business with eco-orientated goals not only meets corporate sustainability responsibilities, but can help position your business as a morally attractive option for the majority of the population.

Here are some simple ways you can begin your journey to lowering your plastic use and become generally more sustainable both today and in the long-term.

Ban single use plastic

While not often used every day, single use plastic can be popular due to their cost effectiveness for staff events and team parties. Invest in wooden cutlery, paper straws, reusable plates, and create a supply cupboard for events free from previously popular single use plastic options.

Accessible recycling

Clearly label all recycling bins for their purpose and have them easily available alongside your regular non-recyclable bin. Include posters which showcase what can and cannot be placed in each bin, and ensure the recycling bins are emptied regularly to avoid over-filling.

Create ecobricks in the office or at home

An ecobrick is a plastic bottle packed solid with clean and dry used plastic. They are made manually to create reusable building blocks used for sustainability projects locally and globally. Building these can be a fun office activity, or employees can be encouraged to partake at home, with clear signposting to local ecobrick drop off centres so they can be put to good use. Learn more about how to make ecobricks here.

Say goodbye to business cards

Approximately 10 million business cards are printed annually at a cost of 7.2million trees, despite the fact that 88% of business cards are binned within the first week.3 In a digital world, business cards are soon becoming a thing of the past. Suggest those in networking situations have a QR code saved to their phone for others to scan which has their contact details saved.

Lights off

Ensure only critical lighting vital for safety is left on overnight, and encourage employees to turn lights off in meeting rooms when they are not in use. This can be promoted via signage at lighting points and internal communications.

Volunteer days

Put your company’s volunteer days to good use and organise team building acitivites such as ocean clean ups or perhaps local eco-projects. Ask your team for their suggestions and support your employees in being able to take the appropriate allocated volunteering time off from their workload to give back to the community. Volunteering is also a great way to boost corporate social responsibility (CSR) metrics.

Printed assets

Can your brochure be accessible via a PDF someone can open through a QR code? Audit your print production output and ensure only vital printing occurs. Limit who has access to printers for easier management.

Swap your products

From switching your toilet roll to a recycled option to sourcing your coffee from a local ethical supplier to getting your washing up liquid from a zero-waste refill store, assess what products your business is using regularly and where you can either source a local and/or more sustainable option.


If your employees travel to the office, promote the cycle-to-work scheme and encourage employees to travel via public transport in general. Allow flexibility and offer understanding should there be delays to help lessen the negatives of travelling this way, and ensure your employees know they will not be sanctioned for lateness out of their control.

Water bottles

Produce ethically made branded reusable water bottles for every employee as standard and ensure a water bottle refill point is accessible for office based staff.

Green servers

Websites use energy, too. Reduce your digital carbon footprint by switching your website to a sustainable provider, such as Eco Web Hosting who plant trees monthly for each plan in addition to their sustainable services.

Employee benefits

From offering volunteering days to electric vehicles, consider how green your employee benefits are. Some reward apps, such as YuLife, offer tree planting and other sustainable global projects rewards in exchange for physical and mindfulness activities.

Other green benefits include electric car leasing and cycle to work schemes.

Contact us to discover how sustainable benefits can help boost your employee wellbeing and assist in your CSR policies today.



2 Sustainability is Important When It Comes to Recruitment - Nutritics

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The working fathers forfeit

Balancing work and parenthood is a difficult task, and never more precarious than when a new child is born. While many discuss the impacts of maternity leave on the workplace and women’s careers, what about the cost of fatherhood?.


Research shows that 64% of fathers took two weeks or less paternity leave for the birth of their most recent child, only less than a third (29%) were able to access enhanced paternity pay, and of those with access 48% were only able to take under two weeks of paternity leave.1

The cost of fatherhood is clear – with 70.6% of fathers only using part of their paternity leave because they couldn’t afford to stay off any longer, despite their familial needs.

Out of those fathers who took two weeks or less paternity leave:

·       32% were ready to return to work physically

·       14% were ready to return to work mentally

·       13% were ready to return to work emotionally

There is an evident demand for greater paternity rights, with only 18% of the British public believing two weeks is an adequate period for paternity leave.2

Having new fathers return to work too early and without the right support will have significant impact on their productivity, stress levels, and overall wellbeing, while impacting the business’ cost of presenteeism.

How can you better support new fathers in the workplace?

Create a workload cover plan

Ensure your new father is assured their work will be adequately covered while they are on paternity leave, with appropriate time scheduled for handovers between other team members.

Have an up-to-date paternity policy

Direct fathers-to-be to an updated paternity policy, with enough time for them to digest this carefully and an open space for them to ask questions as necessary to human resources.

Offer a flexible return to work

Fatherhood is a unique experience for every child, and there’s no predicting how a new father will be when they return to work. Offer flexible working to your new father to accommodate various appointments, and mother/baby needs accordingly. This will help avoid burnout in your new father as they can better juggle their growing responsibilities.


Don’t take it for granted that returning after patentity is the end of the journey of new fatherhood. Check-in on your new father regularly to offer them the space to air any concerns and assess what accommodations can be made to optimise their wellbeing and workload.

Offer emotional support

Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) offer complimentary counselling sessions and can be a lifeline to those experiencing significant stresses and changes in their life. Signpost this service to your new father, and ensure they know it is a confidential service which is swiftly available.

Have clear financial advice

EAPs can also offer financial advice and guidance, such as signposting for where parents can receive benefit support. Offering financial tools and advice on your employee intranet or benefits platform is an additional asset, as the facts show financial burdens are at the crux of premature paternity leave returns.




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Supporting women's health

There are 10.05 million women working full time in the UK today, with 6.01 million women working part time.1 There are 1.8 million more women in work as of 2023 than a decade prior.


Women’s health in the workplace is a fundamental issue which, when overlooked, can have significant detrimental repercussions onto female employees. 40% of women state their professional career development has been negatively impacted by a lack of women’s health support at work, with a further 42% confirming they have heard derogatory comments regarding the health of a female employee.2

So how can employers better support women’s health issues in the workplace?

Menstruation support

27% of women do not feel supported by their employer regarding their periods, despite them being a prominent problematic factor for females.3 Four in five women experience period pain, with one in ten finding the pain so intense it interferes with their daily lives.4

Supporting menstruation can include encouraging healthy discussion among employees, offering webinars, offering free sanitation products in bathrooms, and allowing sick days without discrimination.

Menopause support

The menopause and perimenopause can affect women aged over 40, but in some cases of the latter, even women significantly younger. A staggering 63% of menopausal women say their working life has been negatively impacted by symptoms of the menopause and 94% experiencing menopausal symptoms at work. 90% of women surveyed claimed their workplace had no formal support for women experiencing the menopause.5

For more information on supporting menopausal employees, click here.

Pregnancy loss support

Only 12% of organisations have a policy for pregnancy loss or miscarriage,2 with 21% of women experiencing this loss receiving no support at all from their employer.6 Not having such policies can be a costly oversight, with 24% of employees considering leaving their employment due to a negative experience at work through pregnancy loss or miscarriage.

Offering paid compassionate or special leave is a simple way for an employer to support an employee experiencing pregnancy loss, having an understanding and educated manager, and paid time off or flexible working to accommodate medical or counselling appointments as required.

Endometriosis support

Endometriosis is an often-misunderstood condition affecting 1 in 10 women in the UK.7 This is a condition where tissue grows in spaces such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes where it shouldn’t be, and leads to extensive pain such as stomach cramps, back pain, constipation, nausea, and more.

The condition is severe, with 55% sufferers frequently absent from work due to their symptoms.8 27% of those with endometriosis believe they have missed promotions because of their symptoms, with 54% experiencing income reductions due to leave required. 1 in 6 endometriosis sufferers leave their careers altogether due to the symptom impact.  

Supporting employees with endometriosis can include providing training and awareness and encouraging a culture of open discussion. Employers can offer reasonable adjustments such as medical leave, excluding endometriosis absences from promotion or bonus considerations, flexible working, and providing specialist equipment. Regular check-ins with the employee are recommended, as is joining the Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme.

Female cancers

On average, there are 55,920 new diagnoses of breast cancer annually in the UK9 and 7,495 of ovarian cancer.10 Cancer can greatly impact an employee's ability to maintain their existing responsibilities at work and require extra flexibility for medical leave and workplace adjustments to assist in balancing treatment.

Employee benefits

There are many employee benefits targeted to support women’s health. WPA offer a cash plan policy specifically for female health, as an example.

It is important to look after the health of your employees. Contact us to discuss how you can offer inclusive employee benefits that cater for the needs of all employees. Fertifa offer a healthcare programme that covers everything from PCOS to endometriosis to fibroids to early detection for breast cancer.


Additionally, webinars are readily available from providers such as Towergate Health & Protection specialising in women’s health to best support education across workplaces.


1 SN06838.pdf (








9 Breast cancer statistics | Cancer Research UK

10 Ovarian cancer statistics | Cancer Research UK

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Creating an onboarding strategy that counts

Did you know that on average, it costs £6,152 to fill a standard vacancy and £19,000 to fill a management vacancy, yet 43% of hires leave their role within the first 90 days?1 Recruitment and retention strategies are imperative to a business’ success, with recruitment being an expensive expense, however retention is an often-overlooked element in favour of recruitment.


70% of new hires decide whether a role is right for them within their first month, with 29% of those making their decision in the first week alone. On average, a company has a mere 44 days to influence a new hire’s long-term retention. 20% of new hires state their company doesn’t assist in making connections or finding support ta work, with 44% regretting or experiencing second thoughts on their new post within their first week alone.2

Let’s explore how can companies best support onboarding for long-term retention.

Start before they start

Preboarding new hires offers them the chance to familiarise themselves with the company and what to expect before day one, and shows care for a new hires wellbeing. This element can also avoid the costly impact of no-shows on day one, as your new hire feels apart of the company already.

Preboarding can include sending a welcome kit of merchandise, a ‘what-to-expect’ introductory email in preparation of their first day, administration forms, offer an onboarding checklist, and sending documents such as employee handbooks. 

Prepare technology

Not having appropriate software and hardware ready can put the employee at a disadvantage from day one and act as a physical barrier to employee integration. It may also make the new hire feel as if they are undervalued from day one, as the time and care has not already taken place to appropriately prepare for their arrival.

Allocate a designated onboarding manager

Having no clear contact for queries (65%) and no direct single person onboarding guide (50%) are two leading factors for frustration in new hires. Ensure a helpful and accessible person with the correct pool of knowledge is assigned to assist your new hire in their first month in particular.

Train your new hire appropriately

81% of employees say training on software and tools are crucial to onboarding, with 97% wanting an introduction to employee guidelines and 96% wishing to know the company’s mission statement and values. Allow appropriate time to cover these in the onboarding strategy, with buffer time for training where appropriate.

Encourage team collaboration

Don’t underestimate the power of social connection made through workplaces, with 87% of people wishing to make new friends through work. An easy place to begin is by allocating a colleague to shadow, which is wanted by 93% of new hires.

Facilitate team meetings, non-work related opportunities to get to know team members such as buddy lunches, introductions across departments, and weave time for these meet and greets into the onboarding strategy to allow your new hire to find connections they can grow.

Include senior management

Have senior leaders introduce themselves, even if only by a welcoming email, and have the company values reflected in these communications and meetings. The new hire will feel valued, no matter what level they join, and offers the chance for them to see values in practice from the beginning.

Avoid information overload

Starting a new role can be an overwhelming experience. Allow adequate pacing of onboarding into the plan to avoid stress or fatigue that may arise if too much information is shared in a short amount of time. Remember that you are still understanding how each new hire absorbs new information and learns, so onboarding needs to be a responsive and adaptable experience.

Show employee value through benefits

Ensure your new hire is aware of what benefits they are entitled to, how to access them, their benefit selection window as a new hire, what comes as free, and what to expect if benefits change once probation has passed. This shows the employee that the company cares for them, and what to expect as an added benefit to their salary by staying with the company.

Check-in regularly

Offer weekly check-ins during their first month to allow both parties the opportunity to share progress updates, discuss priorities and objectives, and general discussion on how the new hire is progressing.

Ask for feedback

After the end of an employee’s first month or more, ask for their valued feedback on their onboarding experience. Take this into account for the ongoing development of onboarding and retention strategies, both what worked and what could be improved.


1 The Cost of Recruitment | Insights | Talent Insight Group


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