Attention to the mental and physical well-being of employees is normal in many organizations as a means of keeping good staff and attracting others.
The forms this welfare can take are many and varied, from loans to the needy to counseling in respect of personal problems.
Among the activities regarded as normal are:
- Schemes for occupational sick pay, extended sick leave and access to the firm's medical adviser;
- Schemes for bereavement or other special leave;
- The rehabilitation of injured/unfit/ disabled employees and temporary or permanent move to lighter work;
- The maintenance of disablement statistics and registers (there are complicated legal requirements in respect of quotas of disabled workers and a need for 'certificates' where quota are not fulfilled and recruitment must take place);
- Provision of financial and other support for sports, social, hobbies, activities of many kinds which are work related;
- Provision of canteens and other catering facilities;
- Possibly assistance with financial and other aid to employees in difficulty (supervision, maybe, of an employee managed benevolent fund or scheme);
- Provision of information handbooks,
- Running of pre-retirement courses and similar fringe activities;
- Care for the welfare aspects of health and safety legislation and provision of first-aid training.
The location of the health and safety function within the organization varies. Commonly a split of responsibilities exists under which 'production' or 'engineering' management cares for the provision of safe systems of work and safe places and machines etc., but HRM is responsible for administration, training and education in awareness and understanding of the law, and for the alerting of all levels to new requirements.