Employers could be given cash incentives for healthy staff

Employers could be offered cash incentives to ensure their staff are healthy as part of the government’s £372 million strategy for tackling the country’s obesity epidemic.

As part of its proposals, the Department of Health plans to create stronger incentives for individuals, employers and the NHS to prioritise the long-term work of improving health.

The Department of Health also plans to work with employers and employer organisations to explore how companies can best promote good health among staff and align the health of employees with their overall business strategies.

It has also suggested offering financial incentives for employers who wish to encourage healthy living.

Health secretary, Alan Johnson, said: “It is not the government’s role to hector or lecture people, but we do have a duty to support them in leading healthier lifestyles. This will only succeed if the problem is owned and addressed in every part of society.”