Why is Health & Wellbeing important?

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School employees are working under increasingly stressful situations:

  • Teachers:

    • They are under more direct pressure from parents compared to some years ago when parents would take their concerns to a central contact person. Now they can email the teacher directly and expect a prompt (and satisfactory) response.

    • Recent Federal Govt Australian Curriculum changes mean most teaching staff are working extra hours to ensure their school’s curriculum complies.

    • More issues are added to the school curriculum each year due to society’s concerns and often due to a lack of parenting skills in handling these issues at home.

  • Non-teaching employees are also under increasing pressures:

  • Business / Finance Managers:

    • They need to balance a fine line between the level of fees charged to parents and the reducing level of subsidies from both Federal and State Governments.

    • They are required to meet ever increasing compliance rules relating to safety, finance etc.

    • Reports are constantly required by governing councils, affiliated bodies (e.g. churches within which the schools operate), state govts and federal govts.

    • Increasing numbers of staff are required in all areas to meet these growing requirements

This causes issues for employees at a work level and a personal level, which then has an impact on their overall health and productivity. The impact on productivity can be seen in the following research:

  1. In 2005, a study(1) comparing a healthy worker to an unhealthy worker found:

  • healthy workers to be 3x more productive (49 effective hours worked per month for an unhealthy worker compared to 143 hours for a healthy worker)

  • healthy workers had 9x less annual sick leave (2 days annual sick leave for a healthy worker compared to 18 days for an unhealthy worker).

   2. In 2008, research(2) on the impact of workplace stress indicated:

  • workplace stress is responsible for a loss of 3.2 working days per employee per year

  • workplace stress-related presenteeism costs almost 2x the cost of workplace stress-related absenteeism

  • stress-related absenteeism and presenteeism costs Australian employers a total of $10.11 billion annually.

    3. In 2011, a report(3) concluded that presenteeism:

  • causes an average of 6.5 days of productivity loss per employee per year

  • has an estimated annual cost of $34.1 billion to the Australian economy (2009-2010).

(1) Medibank Private 2005, The health of Australia’s workforce, Medibank Private, Australia.

(2) Medibank Private 2008, The cost of workplace stress in Australia, Medibank Private, Australia.

(3) Medibank Private 2011, Sick at work: The cost of presenteeism to your business and the economy, Medibank Private, Australia.