Almost half of workers would share health data with their employer

health data sharing
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Almost half (46%) of workers across the UK would share their personal health data so that their employer could improve their wellbeing at work, according to a new survey by Deloitte.

The research also found that 49% thought that this information is none of their employer's business.

The survey of 1,248 UK workers across several industries found that over a quarter (26%) of employees would be comfortable for their employer to monitor their personal health data to provide improved wellbeing support.

A third of workers said that monitoring employee health data collected from devices is acceptable, with 37% agreeing that monitoring health data collected from devices would prove their employer was committed to improving workplace wellbeing.

Additionally, 36% of workers are in favour of sharing data on their stress levels with their employers, while the same proportion (36%) would be willing to provide data on their physical health.

But many employees were not comfortable with sharing such personal data, with 46% suggesting they do not think their organisation should be able to monitor their personal health data, even if this enables them to offer improved wellbeing support. And significantly, 21% said they do not trust their organisation to use their personal health data responsibly.

As workers get older, they are less likely to believe their employers are helpful when it comes to supporting their wellbeing. While 82% of workers aged 16-24 say that they find their employer's approach to wellbeing helpful, just 63% of workers aged 55-75 say the same. Meanwhile, 14% say that their employer does not have a wellbeing plan, rising to 23% of workers earning below £20,000 a year.

Will Gosling, human capital consulting leader at Deloitte, said that it is positive that most workers have received increased wellbeing support over the 12-months, but more must be done to support older workers and those on lower incomes.

"Wellbeing support has moved from a nice-to-have to a must have, with progressive organisations now building wellbeing into job roles. It's now likely that when looking for new positions many workers will consider an organisation's wellbeing programmes alongside other schemes, such as flexible working policies and bonus offerings," he said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.