Workplace wellbeing index: which industries are leading the way in workplace wellness support?

In today's fast-paced working environment, companies are recognising the importance of supporting employee wellness with internal policies and programmes in order to improve staff satisfaction, retention and productivity.

Written by
Alex Pellew
Published on
November 21, 2023

With one in six experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week, employers have a duty of care to their employees.

According to a recent study, 83% of businesses have witnessed a surge in demand for enhanced wellbeing benefits from employees; therefore companies offering the best health and wellness packages will be more likely to attract talent and help employees thrive.

Investing in workplace wellbeing can be as simple as providing gym space to rent at a discount to employees, with regular exercise well-known to increase self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, and help prevent the development of mental health problems.

But which industries are leading the way in offering workplace health and wellness benefits, to become a supportive and attractive hub for talent?

At UNTIL, our expert researchers have examined six key data points determining workplace wellness support of companies across the UK. 

This includes:

  • Gym subscriptions or discounts offered
  • On-site gyms 
  • The number of benefits in company wellness packages 
  • Cycle-to-Work schemes
  • Personal Trainer Access for employees
  • Company Glassdoor review score

See the index scores below for the industries leading the way in supporting employee health and wellbeing:

Retail - 521.08

Financial services - 362.08

Higher education - 299.11

Tech - 276.69

Professional services - 264.27

Manufacturing - 131.70

Food & Beverage - 109.12

Utilities - 86.07

Healthcare - 79.98

Logistics - 73.69

Of the UK’s largest employers, the retail industry ranked on top with Co-op revealed as the only company analysed to support all six key data points for employee wellbeing; no other company in the data set offered Personal Trainer access for employees. 

In addition to a wellness package offering a variety of health cover, the Co-op hosts a ‘wellbeing Wednesday’ once a month focusing on a specific area of wellbeing, responding directly to colleague feedback and to what is going on in the world to bring relevant and proactive support for employees and their families.

While still ranking high overall for on-site gyms and discounts available to employees, the financial services sector came second, due to a lower overall health benefits score and company review score.

Leading the way in the financial services sector, Capital One provides a comprehensive suite of financial, physical and wellbeing benefits - including private health insurance for you and your direct family, 24/7 virtual GP access, an Employee Assistance Programme and an award-winning YuLife app.

Staff at Capital One can access gym discounts through their Aviva private medical insurance, or utilise the on-site gym in Nottingham. 

After recently winning the title of ‘Most Open Workplace’ at the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards in 2023, Santander was the second financial services company to make the list, highlighting how supportive the organisation is of employee wellbeing. The company encourages employee health with their on-site gyms, global gympass partnership and Bike4Work scheme, in addition to private Bupa medical insurance and a Mental Wellbeing Network.

The higher education industry ranked third on the index, pioneered by the University of Edinburgh and its mission to promote healthy working by supporting staff in achieving a work-life balance that also fosters good health; staff can keep fit by opting into a cycle-to-work scheme or by taking advantage of the on-site gym at a discount.

The university’s further wellbeing benefits give strong support for mental health, offering six free counselling sessions to all staff, a Chaplaincy support service (for all faiths and none), a ‘Feeling Good’ app, an anonymous online support network and a SilverCloud suite of online CBT programmes.

Coventry University, another academic hub highlighted for staff wellbeing, also offers a gym on campus with discounted rates for staff, a cycle-to-work scheme, and a wellness package supporting mental and physical health.

Taking fourth place on the index is the tech industry, with mid-range scores pulled up by a high health benefits score and overall average company review score for the industry.

The professional services industry came fifth for overall employee wellbeing, led by EY, PwC and Deloitte. While having the highest overall score for industry health benefits, companies within the industry should focus on their cycle-to-work scheme offering and provision of on-site gyms to score higher on the index.

This is evident as the industries ranking in the top five for best wellness benefits all have higher overall on-site gym scores than those ranking lower, acting as a benchmark for the leading workplace wellness providers.

While the financial services sector appears to be ahead of the retail sector in the number of companies ranking on the index, its industry score is pulled down as they fall behind on overall health benefits, cycle-to-work-schemes, and PT access offered.

Furthermore, whilst higher education companies take up more spots in the analysis  than retail, to rank higher on the index organisations in the higher education sector should aim to improve their overall health benefits score and overall average company review score for the industry.

As employers become more diligent in their duty of care to employees, there needs to be an emphasis by companies to include health and wellbeing support in their benefits policies - whether this be private medical insurance, mental health support, encouraging work-life balance or fitness incentives such as gym facilities and discounts.


For this study, our expert researchers found the 20 biggest employers in the 20 most populated cities in the UK. They compared these against six relevant index points to find which companies are leading the way in supporting employee wellbeing. The data points included:

  • Gym subscriptions or discounts
  • On-site gyms
  • Wellness packages 
  • Cycle-to-Work schemes
  • PT Access
  • Company Glassdoor review score

Once the data had been collected, a tally score was given to each company in each data set. Following this, an index score was given to each company based on the combined total tally of each data set, with those with a higher tally ranking higher in the index for workplace wellbeing ranging from scores of 100 to 0. 

E.g. companies with no employee wellbeing benefits ranked last and received a lower score out of 100; whereas those with the highest amount of these desirable wellbeing offerings ranked on top with a higher score; companies with the highest index score being the best for supporting employee wellbeing, and vice versa.

Data correct as of October 2023.