EXCLUSIVE: 39% of employers say men wait to discuss health

Two-fifths (39%) of employers admitted that their male employees wait until a health problem becomes severe before talking to their line manager or HR department.

Digital health platform Peppy spoke to 504 HR decision makers and discovered that 37% said that one of the main issues when trying to manage men’s health issues in the workplace is their unwillingness to seek help. Just over a quarter (26%) stated that presenteeism, which is working while not being physically or mentally fit for work, is an issue among their male employees.

One-third (36%) found that a “macho” culture, where being ill or needing help is seen as a weakness, affects men’s health problems in the workplace, followed by a lack of support for male-specific issues (30%) and a lack of places where they can access support confidentially (26%).

In addition, 25% said that a lack of role models who show it is okay to be ill, and a concern about promotions and pay rises if they are known to have health problems also impact male staff wellbeing, with 23% citing the inability to access GP or medical support due to long working hours as an issue. Nearly half (45%) provide support in the workplace specifically for men’s health, with a further 20% planning to offer it within the next 12 months.

Dr Mridula Pore, CEO of Peppy, explained that employers must offer the right type of support that is convenient and gives assurance in order to shift the needle on men’s workplace health.

“A tech-based solution ticks many of the right boxes but it will not be effective unless it is communicated regularly to increase engagement. We need to prevent men from having any excuse to delay discussing symptoms, particularly as fitting a GP appointment around work can be difficult and many feel uncomfortable divulging health concerns directly to an employer,” she said.