SUPPORT is being offered to businesses in South Craven to improve employees' health and cut absences due to sickness.

The help, from North Yorkshire County Council, is open to firms signed-up to its Workplace Wellbeing Award scheme.

Any type or size of business can enrol in the initiative.

There are three levels of award – bronze, silver and gold.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of public health for North Yorkshire, said: "The award is an important part of our drive to improve the health of the county's workforce.

"The development of the award follows on from recommendations in my annual public health report in 2016, which focussed on the health and wellbeing of the working-age population.

"As the UK workforce continues to age, there will be an increasing number of employees living with long-term conditions, so it is more important than ever to make changes that improve and maintain people's health and wellbeing."

It is estimated that across Yorkshire and the Humber, workplace injuries and sickness absences cost businesses £1.3 billion in 2016-17.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, executive member for public health, prevention and supported housing, said businesses signing-up to the initiative would receive free one-to-one support throughout the programme.

"We want as many workers as possible to benefit from this and I encourage all businesses and employers to sign-up and take advantage of this support to develop their workplace wellbeing plans," she added.

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