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The saying that “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is simplistic, disingenuous, and potentially destructive. While it’s true that some who experience horrible events are stronger for surviving them, this is probably only true if they were strong to begin with. In the face of horrible events, others are more likely to be traumatised and suffer for years or decades after.
It’s something most people do everyday, often without really thinking about it, but how you wash your hands can make a real difference to your health and the wellbeing of those around you.
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that a record 32.54 million people are in work in the UK¹; a statistic that looks fantastic on the surface and one that many will celebrate, particularly from a political standpoint. However, mental health issues in the workplace and presenteeism because of mental health is also at an all-time high, with 22% of employees going into work in 2018 despite feeling mentally un-well – up from 18% in 2016². It is possible that there is a correlation between an increasing workforce and an increase in workplace mental health issues; but there are numerous confounding influencing variables which pose a challenge for companies.
Ageing is inevitable and is influenced by many things – but keeping active can slow ageing and increase life expectancy. Evidence shows that ageing alone is not a cause of major problems until you are in your mid-90s. And strength, power and muscle mass can be increased, even at this advanced age.
The world of work is fast changing. As life expectancy lengthens and labour markets shift, our working lives have become more complicated. The old expectations about how we work have become unsustainable – not least the expectation that we religiously travel to and from a fixed location ten times a week during rush hour, with all the knock-on effects that this has for carbon emissions.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “post-traumatic stress disorder”? When I ask this question in public presentations, the answers are along the lines of “the military”, “soldiers” and “war”. Then, when my next slide displays military themed images, it seems as if I have ingeniously predicted the audience’s response.
In the November 2019 issue Mental Health in the Workplace Across the Generations – Camilla Lewis Washing Hands Properly – Ellen W. Evans Being Mentally Tough Can Be Taught – Peter Clough PTSD Also Affects Families – Hope Christie Better Flexible Work – Jane Parry How to Stay Fit into Your 60s – Julie Broderick
In the October 2019 issue Aon: Personalizing Health – Matthew Lawrence R&D: Processing Changes the Food We Eat – Anthony Fardet, Edmond Rock R&D: We Should Be Consuming Less Salt – Feng He History of Pooling: International Group Program IGP – Peter de Vries
To understand how healthy a food is, we generally look at its components – carbohydrates, fats and proteins, or the vitamins, minerals and other substances it may contain. But this purely “nutritional” vision overlooks one property that’s a key part of a food’s health potential – its structure. For example, serving a child a breakfast cereal made up of whole wheat or rice may seem like a good idea, but research shows that processing can significantly impact its nutritive qualities. Extrusion-cooking or puffing can transform wheat and rice into primarily a source of sugars that the child’s body rapidly absorbs, and many of the nutritive values of the original grains are lost.
The human body needs a tiny amount of sodium to function properly and this is typically found in salt (sodium chloride). But today most people consume way too much salt, increasing the burden of cardiovascular disease around the world. Health professionals have been trying to tackle this problem for decades, but face several barriers, including research that muddies the water about what safe levels of salt intake are. This has cast unnecessary doubt on the importance of reducing intakes. But our latest research has found flaws in these studies and suggests that salt intake should be reduced even further than current recommendations.
It isn’t surprising that employers are looking for ways to improve the health and engagement of their employees when their challenges are so evident: Medical inflation rates continue to be high globally, with the 2019 global average being 7.8%, reported by Aon1. Indeed, in many countries, this is much higher, even exceeding the local inflation rate by double-digit percentage points.
1967: IGP was founded with Ford as its first Client In the 1960s, Ford began to expand globally, and Ford of Europe was established in 1967. At the time, Ford was the largest domestic client of John Hancock’s Group Insurance Division. The concept of multinational pooling did exist at the time, though it was not widely practiced. Ford and John Hancock collaborated on the possibility of reinsuring and pooling the employee benefits plans of Ford’s overseas operations.
GBV’s Editor, Eric Muller-Borle, interviews Leslie Lemenager, President, International for Gallagher’s Employee Benefits Reward, Communication and Wealth Division, and LeAnne Stefl, Practice Leader, Multinational Benefits & Human Resources Consulting, on the company’s global mobility and consulting strategy, employee benefits and wellbeing and several other topics, including: How they are tackling the growing importance of employee wellbeing through the long-term value proposition of holistic employee benefits components. How Gallagher’s knowledge-based approach (IBIS Academy and Institute, Center of Excellence, and GVISOR) is gauging market needs and strategic shifts on a global level. How its “Three areas of wellbeing” are the future of employee benefits and mobility. How they view Brexit in their international strategy. How trends in employee benefits and legislation impact client needs.
Representatives from Europe and North America met for the 11th Transatlantic Conference from Wednesday, June 19 through Friday, June 21, 2019 in the small hamlet of Bolton Landing in the Adirondack Mountains region of upper New York state. This edition of the annual Transatlantic Conference was hosted by the U.S. National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) and co-organized jointly by the European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP), the Multi-employer Benefit Plan Council of Canada (MEBCO), and the World Pension Alliance, chaired by PensionsEurope for the day devoted to pension topics.
Part of the Generali Group, Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) is a leading business line focused on providing solutions in the space of employee benefits for multinational corporations. With a network presence in more than 130 countries and around 25% market share, GEB offers an broad range of services and products that multinational employers may need for their workforce and their families, from locally admitted policies to cross border arrangements for mobile employees and expatriates, as well as the most sophisticated employee benefit solutions at a local level including multinational pooling and Reinsurance to a captive.
GBV interviews Tobias Winkler and Marcel Petschek of Albatros and discusses the changing face of employee benefits within the Lufthansa Group, trends in the travel industry, performance metrics and indicators and the road ahead. What role does Albatros (Delvag) play and how does it work within Lufthansa Group? Global Benefits Vision: Could you describe Albatros today? What is its role within Lufthansa, what it does, how it’s organised, where it
In the September 2019 issue Global Employee Benefits at Gallagher, Interview – Leslie Lemenager and LeAnne Stefl Global Business Travel Insurance by Albatros – Dr. Tobias Winkler, Marcel Petschek 2019 Transatlantic Conference Report The History of Pooling at Generali – Marc Reinhardt, Andrea Valacchi, Thierry Mestach
In the July 2019 issue Leena Johns MD on Workplace Culture – Dr. Leena Johns Protecting Employees on The Move – Andy Wood R&D: Long Hours Increase Chances of A Stroke – Libby Sander R&D: Salt, China’s Deadly Food Habit – Monique Tan R&D: Body Organs Most at Risk During A Heatwave – Pieter Vancamp R&D: The Toll of Zero-Hour Contracts – Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi, Janet Barlow The UK
The number of workers on zero-hours contracts continues to rise in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that between October and December 2018 there were between 777,000 and 911,000 people working on zero-hours contracts. But the impact of such contracts seems to be underestimated by the government.
In June 2019, much of Europe was struck by early heatwave, with temperatures reaching nearly 46 Centigrade (115 Fahrenheit) in France, an all-time record. A heat wave is characterised by extremely high temperatures over the course of several days and nights. They have significant impact on our daily lives – we feel overheated and tired. When a heat wave strikes, many governments activate a “heat action plan”, advising those affected to drink water, avoid strenuous exercise, and stay cool. If not, one risks having a heat stroke, which can be potentially life-threatening.
People in China have used salt to prepare and preserve food for thousands of years. But consuming lots of salt raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, now accounts for 40% of deaths in China.
Why should employers look to create a positive workplace culture? We sat down with Dr Leena Johns, Head of Health & Wellness at MAXIS Global Benefits Network, to discuss the, often unseen, impact of workplace culture on the productivity and health of employees.
Australia is in the bottom third of OECD countries when it comes to working long hours, with 13% of us clocking up 50 hours or more a week in paid work. These long hours are bad for our health. A new study from France has found that regularly working long days of ten hours or more increases our risk of having a stroke.
In our previous article* we saw how the growth and geographical expansion of multinationals is leading to increasing international mobility, and new challenges for the HR function. Now we’ll look at the issues surrounding a specific area of benefit provision – group life and disability cover – and discuss the range of solutions available.