Food and Nutrition During Lockdown

No matter where staff are located, in an office or working from home, it remains a legal responsibility for employers to support the health and wellbeing of their staff. However, it is important that organisations recognise this goes above and beyond a legal obligation. Improving the health and wellbeing of their staff will improve their overall performance and drive a healthy business.

As a starting point, Public Health England have created a toolkit for employers that offers practical advice on how employees can support their employees’ health. Public Health suggest that this will in turn reduce sickness absence and increase productivity.

Some suggestions include:

  • Providing staff access to appropriate support
  • Ensuring employees are aware of information and programmes that promote healthy eating
  • Encouraging senior staff to lead by example
  • Providing healthier choices in office vending machines and canteens
  • Acting as a gateway by providing evidence-based information

You may wish to also promote campaigns that encourage physical activity, such as cycle to work schemes, or simply encouraging remote working employees to take short but regular breaks to get up and moving.

Overall, when it comes to food and nutrition, personal responsibility is key. However as employers there are subtle ways you are able to support staff in making healthier choices and introduce positive changes in the workplace, such as:

  • Longer lunch breaks that are for eating, not working. A short lunch break may mean an employee reaches for a quick but unhealthy lunch option.
  • Consulting staff and encouraging them to share their suggestions about healthy eating and wellbeing initiatives. Each workplace differs so it is best to tailor your plan to your employees needs.
  • Encourage employees, don’t tell and patronise. Don’t fall into the trap of telling employees what they should or shouldn’t be eating and doing, instead provide them with information and resources that will help point them in the right direction.

At Aston Lark, we are here to help you support the health and wellbeing of your employees. To find out more about how we can help, contact our Employee Benefits team on 020 7543 2817.

Further resources and advice:

Nutrition tips and recipes from WHO: https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/publications-and-technical-guidance/noncommunicable-diseases/food-and-nutrition-tips-during-self-quarantine?fbclid=IwAR0IxmHZqgX-uwgq0cNTsDM3BdHUogV8EcFbqiY3olALGzBP_hbzW6AwYnA