People in the north of England feel their employer is not taking care of their wellbeing, which is impacting retention.

The study by financial services firm, Legal and General (L&G), found in its Wellbeing at Work Barometer that 40 percent of workers in the north are unhappy with their company’s wellbeing initiatives. This is compared to 10 percent of those in the South.

The findings come weeks after the government published its White Paper on Levelling Up earlier this month. Downing Street says its plan is to see pay, employment and productivity grow everywhere and ‘the disparities between the top and worst performing areas narrow.’

Meanwhile, L&G’s Rebuilding Britain Index found that the UK has not yet shown any significant signs of rebuilding, and found there had been declines in healthcare over the past year – a key area of North/South disparity.

Distribution Director at L&G, Colin Fitzgerald, said that helping address health and wellbeing inequalities made good business sense. He called for tailored and purpose-driven benefit and wellbeing programmes.

Levelling Up – what will it mean for employment?

The government has laid out five ‘missions’ to ‘significantly increase’ the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training. It is hoped this will be around 200,000 people a year.

It has also set out ideas to offer new opportunities for Northerners to access high quality work and progress in the workplace. The government said it was also committed to providing employment support for disabled people and those with health conditions.  

Workers in the North less aware of wellbeing benefits and programs

According to L&G, the use of wellbeing benefits among employees was far lower in the North, with just one in five respondents saying they had used them at all. 

While in the South, more than three in five employees reported having used the benefits available to them.

And when it came to awareness of benefits, there was a similar disparity, with almost a quarter of workers in the North saying they were unaware of them, compared to a far lesser number in the South.

Workers looking for more transparency on wellbeing programmes

Respondents said they would be more likely to work for an organisation that was open about its commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its people. Employees in the South demanded this at a greater level than the north.

L&G said employers that don’t have well-being either already embedded or marked as a priority were missing out on new talent, as well as impacting the effectiveness of their existing workforce. 

And in an employee’s market, where the demand for talent was fast outstripping supply Fitzgerald warned that “this should be a serious cause for concern for employers.”





Feyaza Khan has been a journalist for more than 20 years in print and broadcast. Her special interests include neurodiversity in the workplace, tech, diversity, trauma and wellbeing.