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World Health Month: work, sick leave and human wellbeing

World Health Day is celebrated annually on April 7th and each year draws attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The date of April 7th marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948.

The theme for World Health Day 2023 is “Health For All” which aims to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without facing financial hardship. “In 1948, countries of the world came together and founded WHO to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being”, wrote the organization about this day. 

“WHO’s 75th anniversary year is an opportunity to look back at public health successes that have improved quality of life during the last seven decades. It is also an opportunity to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today and tomorrow”, adds the WHO. 

With this in mind, GCEXPERTS researched health and its relationship with employees and employers. Physical and mental health is very important for well-being in the workplace. Therefore, it is necessary to offer benefits that take care of people’s lives. Today, sick leave is the most well-known, but many different examples can be found.

The importance of health

Health benefits for workers can be very important for both employees and employers. Some of the reasons why health benefits are important include reducing absenteeism, saving money, heightening job satisfaction, boosting employee engagement, helping employers retain their best employees, being convenient, and setting a good example. Providing health insurance to employees is an example. 

Employers may also offer additional benefits such as wellness programs and health savings accounts (HSAs), which can help employees manage their healthcare costs. Some of the most popular and important benefits to employees include healthcare coverage, paid time off, retirement plans, life insurance policies, dental insurance, vision insurance, prescription and pharmacy benefits, specialist services, and mental health coverage.

Mental health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being, and it’s important for employers to provide support for their employees’ mental health. Some of the potential benefits of supporting employee mental health include increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, and improved work performance.

To protect mental health, WHO recommends manager training for mental health, which helps managers recognize and respond to supervisees experiencing emotional distress; training for workers in mental health literacy and awareness, to improve knowledge of mental health and reduce stigma; interventions for workers experiencing early signs of distress; and support for workers who have experienced a traumatic event.

Sick leave around the world

As we said, sick leave is the most important health right in these days. Sick leave and work wellness are related in that sick leave can be used for many purposes, including activities to promote wellness, such as routine medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment. 

In order to promote wellness and work-life balance culture, it is important to monitor and evaluate your leave management and its impact on your wellness. Encouraging employees to use their sick leave when they need it can help them recover faster and return to work healthier.

“Paid sick leave plays a crucial role, especially in times of crises where many workers fear dismissal and discrimination when reporting sick. A new ILO study shows that paid sick leave is not only affordable but pays off in terms of health and economic gains for employers, workers and the economy at large”, said in the ILO.


“At the global level, as many as 145 countries provide for paid sick leave”, which is paid by employers and by the governments. “The majority – more than 50 percent of countries – provide for replacement rates that vary between 50 and 75 percent of the wage received before. The period of paid sick leave spans from more than one month (and up to two years) to less than 7 days”, resumes the ILO. More than 50 countries don’t offer that benefit. The global rights gap is evident.

In conclusion, we see the importance of caring for the health of employees. There are many ways for states and companies to do so. It is unquestionable that without health, you cannot work and you must always be aware of that. April 7 is a great day to remember this. 

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