Workplace health and wellbeing
The daytime worker population in the Square Mile (City of London) is a significant population, and one which the City of London’s Health and Wellbeing Board has responsibility for with regards to health and wellbeing. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, around 522,000 people travelled into the City for work every day.
The City is home to 24,000 businesses – the vast majority of which employ fewer than 250 staff, though the 1% employing 250+ staff employ half of the City’s workforce. Working long hours, combined with long commutes, can make it difficult to access healthcare services during the work week. There is significant variation in the provision by City employers of support for health and wellbeing to their employees.
There is also the “frontline and essential” workforce, which comprises a significant proportion of the City’s worker population. These individuals are employed in roles such as cleaning, security, hospitality, and construction, and are often not direct employees of the City firms whose sites they work on. These workers are more likely to experience avoidable health inequalities. Barriers to access to healthcare include long working hours, and working outside of regular office hours when facilities may be closed, working multiple jobs, the fact that many businesses do not extend their staff health and wellbeing offering to contractors, limited English language skills, and more. During the COVID-19 pandemic that even though often these groups were at increased risk of disease and death from COVID-19, this was exacerbated by being in frontline roles that could not be done remotely, as well as challenges around lack of access to pay for self-isolating.
To support City employers to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce, the City and Hackney Public Health team delivers the Business Healthy network (www.businesshealthy.org). Business Healthy provides free signposting, advice, information, and guidance to City employers of all sizes and sectors, and covers a wide range of topics.
Hackney and the City of London reports
Other local strategies and plans
- Business Healthy annual update report to City Health and Wellbeing Board (2021)
- Business Healthy annual update report to City Health and Wellbeing Board (2022)
- The health and wellbeing gap for frontline and essential staff: what a business can do now