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Managing and measuring employee health and wellbeing: a review and critique

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to identify the case for taking employee health and wellbeing into account in some way and to consider a range of objections that might be raised against such exercises. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper identifies the existence of a persistent sickness absence as a cause for concern for a range of stakeholders and how it might be accounted for in the light of recent developments within the intellectual capital field. Attention then turns to some of the difficulties such well meaning interventions might encounter, and briefly considers how a self-accounting approach might in some part overcome these. Findings ‐ The paper finds that a programme of empirical research within the field of employee health and wellbeing is now required to ensure that employee health and wellbeing into account. Practical implications ‐ While predominantly a discursive contribution to the literature, the paper incorporates some discussion of innovative accounting interventions. Originality/value ‐ In contrast to viewing sickness absence from a cost perspective, the paper encourages stakeholders to embrace a wider spectrum of ways of seeing to better understand employee health and wellbeing issues in the work place.
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Keywords: Absenteeism; Employee productivity; Ethics; Human resource management; Personal health; Self assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 2, 2010

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