Investors in People is delighted to award Japan Tobacco International (JTI), the leading Tobacco company in the UK[1], the first ‘We invest in wellbeing’ Platinum accreditation. JTI UK has become the only company in the UK to achieve ‘We invest in wellbeing’ Platinum, the highest possible award level, in recognition of their ‘outstanding’ support for employees and exceeding their own stretch goals to reach the highest standards in corporate employee wellbeing practices.

‘We invest in wellbeing’ assesses companies across three areas: social, physical, and psychological wellbeing. Highest-scoring companies exhibit: a culture that champions inclusion, diversity, community, and family-friendly policies; support across physical activity, nutrition, musculoskeletal and environmental factors; effective communication and amplification of employees’ voices.

JTI UK have met these frameworks through highly inventive and exemplary schemes as part of a comprehensive employee wellbeing strategy. For example:

  • JTI UK created a highly effective ‘Elephant in the Room’ campaign to raise the awareness of mental health struggles and ‘smash the stigma’. They have also trained almost half the workforce in mental health awareness and currently have one mental health first aider per 13 employees.
  • JTI UK signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge and Mental Health at Work Commitment.
  • The company engages with employees in menopause cafes, mindfulness workshops, and individual sleep coaching through an ongoing wellbeing calendar of activities. JTI UK have created an internal wellbeing dashboard using key datasets that allow them to tailor the support offered to individuals based on key trends.
  • Employee wellbeing benefits at JTI UK range from food intolerance testing to gym memberships, through to yoga classes for warehouse staff and free premium membership to Headspace, the leading meditation app.
  • Employees are also given free access to debt consolidation and mortgage broker services – proof that JTI UK is tackling the underlying causes of stress, and not only the symptoms.
  • JTI UK distributed weekly support tools for employees and line managers via their company intranet during the Covid-19 pandemic, reminding employees that there is always ‘time to talk’. They also delivered more than 500 hours of learning sessions during the past year for employees to access offerings such as virtual sessions with charitable partners to enhance their wellbeing whilst also supporting others.

140 million days are lost each year to sickness in the UK, with stress, depression, and anxiety being responsible for 44% of all work-related absences. However, JTI UK report that within their own organisation, they have seen (since 2017):

  • 66% reduction in absence due to stress, anxiety & depression.
  • 54% decrease in sickness absence overall.
  • Double the usage of offered support mechanisms such 1:1 counselling.
  • A significant increase in the number of employees choosing to be open about their mental health struggles and seek support.

As part of an ongoing commitment to employees, JTI UK are continuing to evolve their wellbeing programmes. Their focus for this year is to develop a blended resilience and personal energy programme to help staff be at their very best and enhance their wellbeing culture.

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate JTI UK on this fantastic achievement, which is an important milestone for them, but also sets an example for businesses to strive towards. Understanding the value of employee wellbeing is key to a happier, more resilient and more productive workforce, and this focus has never been more important than now.

Commenting on the award, Dean Gilfillan, JTI UK’s General Manager said: ‘We are very proud to be the first ever company to hold this platinum accreditation. We strongly believe that the success of our organisation begins and ends with our people.”

[1] IRi Market Place, Volume Share, Total Tobacco Category, Total UK, FY 2020.


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