Working hard to improve the wellbeing of our employees

In January we were named one of Britain's Healthiest Workplaces 2018, following the largest and most comprehensive workplace wellbeing survey in the UK.

Britain's Healthiest Workplace 2018 incorporated data from 129 organisations and 26,432 employees, and ranked United Utilities as the third most improved organisation. The award recognised our increased efforts over the past four years to improve the wellbeing of our employees. This includes helping employees quit smoking, offering discounted gym membership, nutritional programmes, and training mental health champions and first aiders.

In 2018 we were reaccredited with the Workplace Wellbeing Charter, reflecting our continued commitment to health and wellbeing. We fully met 90 of the 95 standards set out in the charter, which are based on best practice, research and commercial benefit.

We picked up two employee wellbeing accolades at the Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA) awards. We won the award for Physical Wellbeing for our "superb reductions in inactivity rates" among employees, made possible by initiatives including standing desks and walking meetings. At our Warrington headquarters we have an onsite gym, health kiosks so staff can accurately measure their weight and blood pressure, incentives for employees who stay smoke-free for six months, and we organised activity challenges including a Mighty Hike, Billion Step and Walking Home for Christmas.

We won the prize for Best Mental Wellbeing, for a company with 5,000 employees or more, for identifying specific issues in our workforce, setting out a clear approach to building a supportive culture, and for putting good data analytics in place to measure progress. The judges praised our 'mental health selfies' as an excellent way of encouraging staff to engage with their own mental wellbeing, and were impressed by the support network we have built for mental health first aiders.

In May 2018 we joined other businesses, including Barclays, PwC and BNFL Sellafield, along with football clubs and mental health charities in an initiative aimed at ending the stigma of talking about mental health in the workplace. 'This is Me' launched in Manchester to coincide with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. The campaign challenges the stigma around mental health at work aiming to break the culture of silence by supporting people to tell their own personal stories.

Approximately one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. As a responsible business, we have an obligation to get involved and take an active interest in the wellbeing of our staff and create an environment where those in need can get help and support.

In 2018 we were also reaccredited with the Workplace Wellbeing Charter