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How much are unhealthy employees costing your business?

15 March 2017 - 11:50am

Taking better care of your employees' health isn't just the right thing to do, it's a smart business decision. There's an abundance of research from leading industry authorities that has unequivocally found that healthier employees are happier and more productive.

This means that unhealthy employees could be hurting your bottom line. How much do unhealthy employees really cost businesses and what can corporate health insurance do to minimise that cost?


Sick employees could be decreasing your business's productivity. Sick employees could be decreasing your business productivity.

What's the real cost of unhealthy employees?

The statistics around Australian employee health are alarming. Workplace Health Association Australia found that of their sample of nearly 30,000 workers, the average employee exhibited four preventable health risk factors. These included:

  • 40.3 per cent and 20.2 per cent of employees were overweight or obese, respectively. 
  • Nearly a quarter had high cholesterol. 
  • 65 per cent reported high stress levels.
  • One in eight had high blood pressure 

While these are just the warning signs, they're symptomatic of widespread health risks in the Australian workforce. These manifest in presenteeism, decreased productivity and increased sick days, all of which hurt your business.

The evidence is there too - a Medibank Private study has found that unhealthy employees are three times less productive than their healthy workmates. A separate Medibank study also found that presenteeism (employees showing up at work sick) costs the Australian economy around $34 billion a year. That's more than the total gross state product of Tasmania.

What's the solution?

Comcare research shows that for every dollar spent improving worker health, businesses save almost $6.

Put simply, the solution is for employers to invest more time and money into helping their employees stay healthy. While this may not seem like a prudent investment, especially for cash-strapped businesses, Comcare research shows that for every dollar spent improving worker health, businesses save almost $6. That's an excellent return on investment, no matter how you look at it.

Your first step in improving your employees health is to offer corporate health insurance through HICA.

We understand that each business is different, and can tailor a health insurance package to your specific needs so that it offers the most value to your employees while remaining affordable. 

Take the first step towards improving your employee productivity and get in touch with the expert team at HICA to discuss what our corporate health insurance products can do for your business.