Regional Market Outlook on  Health and Wellness Management

  • The employee assistance and wellness services industry revenue is around $280 million in 2018, and it is expected to grow at a rate of 6–7 percent by 2021
  • Around 56 percent of employers are offering health promotion to employees in Australia
  • Global players are extending their service capabilities to different states in Australia, with the main focus on reducing absenteeism in workplace
  • During 2000s, the federal and state government in Australia subsidized the cost of corporate wellness programs. So, the corporate wellness market started to grow
  • However, during 2013–2014, the cancellation of health initiatives by the government led to the decline of revenue in the industry and also the industry participation
  • Currently, corporate wellness is slowly growing, employers focus more on employer assistance programs, the reason being workplace stress causes absenteeism and surveys show that the direct cost to employers was found to be around AUD 16 billion per year on stress and employee mental issues
  • Sickness and absenteeism cost organizations an estimated $2,700 per employee each year as per Australian Bureau of Statistics

trends-health-and-wellness-management-australia

Australia Corporate Wellness Industry Trends 

  • Employers in Australia are promoting wellness initiatives to attract, retain talent, improve employee engagement and productivity, reduced injuries and sick days
  • Wellness programs are becoming an important component of the health insurance market, as the insurers are trying to reduce the health services utilization and claim cost
  • Lifestyle practices, occupational health, and safety are given high importance by companies

Corporate Wellness Drivers and Constraints  

  • Increase in work-related health issues, stress, absenteeism, and government regulations are driving the growth of employee wellness programs. Employers also use this as a tool to retain and attract talent, improve employee engagement, productivity, and to maintain work ability

Drivers

Occupational health and safety

  • Costs related to work-related stress is increasing and absenteeism is increasing. Traditionally, health and wellness have been focused on minimizing the risk of physical hazards in a workplace, but for the past few years, this has been changing to incorporate broader psychosocial considerations, health plans, and employee assessment and assistance programs

Human capital and brand image of organizations

  • Health education, health screenings, and disease management have helped reduce absenteeism and employee turnover as well as increase productivity and efficiency
  • Brand image includes talent attraction, retention, and ideas about broader corporate social responsibility

Government regulations

  • The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
  • Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (NSW) – There are different state specific laws that concentrate and insist on health and well being of people. The government also provides few subsidies to employers for having corporate wellness programs 

 Constraints

Involvement of employees

  • Employers find it difficult to involve all of their employees in wellness and assistance program participation. In Australia, the number of employees having access to EAP program is increasing, but the utilization rate is found to be around 5 percent
  • Rewards and incentive systems are growing, so as to increase the participation of employees

Lack of support from management as well as budget and resource constraints

  • Resource constraints, such as lack of staff, a regular on-site doctor, coach consulting facilities and budget, are among the most prevalent reasons for not having a wellness program in place (in the organizations)