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Wellbeing at Work Awards Criteria

If you are a medium or large organisation (a workplace with more than 50 employees), the following awards are available to you: Commitment (optional), Bronze, Silver and Gold.

For Bronze Award, 20 criteria must be achieved, all of which are mandatory and defined. At this level, you would have built the foundations for a healthy workplace with minimal financial investment.

For Silver Award, Bronze Award must have already been completed. 20 criteria must be achieved, and these criteria can be chosen by the organisation from a pool of optional criteria. At this level, you would have developed health and wellbeing in your workplace.

For Gold Award, Silver Award must have already been completed. 20 criteria must be achieved, and these criteria can be chosen by the organisation from a pool of optional criteria. At this level, health and wellbeing is embedded in your organisation.

List of Criteria

Each of the programme criteria are listed in the table below within their topic areas, and they can be identified by their unique ‘criteria number’. You can also access the full criteria for the Wellbeing at Work Awards in the Criteria Handbook, which includes ideas and useful resources to help you implement each criteria, and examples of evidence you may want to provide.

Physical Activity & Active Travel (PA)



Raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity and active travel among employees, encourage staff to be physically active and signpost employees to support available.



Offer and promote initiatives that support alternative work travel arrangements, such as tax efficient cycle purchase schemes, public transport discount initiatives and/or season ticket loan schemes.


Survey staff to understand how they travel to work, from work and during work.


Provide adequate cycle parking or storage, for staff and visitors. 


Partner up with local physical activity providers to enable discounted physical activity for staff, or provide physical activity opportunities for staff in house.


(Double Weighted)

Produce an active travel action plan based on a workplace site audit.


Encourage staff to wear footwear and clothing to work that is comfortable and enables activity, where is operationally appropriate.


Support employees to access the outdoor environment by mapping and promoting any local assets that could be utilised for breaks and journeys to/from work.


Offer led walks to employees.


Provide cycle workshops.


Introduce a mileage allowance for business journeys undertaken by foot and by cycle, as well as favourable mileage payments where there are passengers in a vehicle to encourage sharing/pooling.


Provide adequate changing facilities and storage that are accessible to all staff.


Share instructions of how to travel to events and meetings via public transport and/or active travel with attendees.


Encourage staff to take part in team activity sessions, or physically active team challenges, that are inclusive to the whole workforce.

Healthy Eating (HE)



Provide adequate space for safe food storage, as well as clean, appropriate food preparation areas and facilities to heat food in the workplace.



Raise awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and hydration among employees, and signpost employees to support available.


Make changes to vending machines in the workplace to encourage and facilitate healthier choices.


Ensure healthy options are included in on site cafes or canteens, as well as in catering for events and meetings.


Ensure kitchens and beverage areas are kept clean and are situated away from work areas.


Encourage employees adopt healthy eating practices.

Mental Health & Wellbeing (MH)



Produce a mental health action plan and share with employees, considering the following topics: breaking down stigma, stress management, sleep and suicide prevention.



Provide mental health awareness training to key members of staff.



Promote mental health services to employees that can support them with their mental wellbeing, including financial wellbeing initiatives, support or services.


Train members of staff as dementia champions.


Become a dementia friendly setting.


Offer mental health awareness training to all members of staff.


Signpost employees with mental health challenges or conditions to support services.


Ensure that health and wellbeing are embedded into policies or statements that have the potential to impact staff wellbeing. Health and wellbeing are considered as a priority when developing new policies or statements.


Have a flexible working statement or policy that allows employees a degree of autonomy and control over how work is completed and work schedules, where operationally viable.


Allow and support employees to contribute a minimum of one day per year to volunteering activities, within working hours.


Provide suicide prevention training to key members of staff.


Encourage and support social activities and/or volunteering.


Encourage honest and open conversations about mental health and wellbeing, including disabilities and health conditions. Foster a culture where employees feel comfortable to raise concerns about workplace issues.

Alcohol, Smoking & Substance Misuse (AS)



Raise awareness of the benefits of stopping smoking and/or reducing alcohol consumption. As well as the impacts of alcohol, smoking and/or substance misuse on health and wellbeing. Signpost to support available.



Produce and promote a smoking statement or policy, after consulting employees, with a clear rules on smoking in the workplace, signposting to support services and the health risks of smoking.


Signpost employees to confidential services for support with alcohol or substance misuse.


Produce an alcohol and substance misuse policy or statement, regarding the use of alcohol and other substances at work that is clear, consistent for all roles and well publicised.


Include a toolkit or resources on recognising and managing alcohol and drugs problems in the line managers inductions.


Provide Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) training to key members of staff.


Prohibit staff from smoking in uniform, work badges, lanyards, branded materials or any item that may identify individuals as an employee of the organisation.


(Double Weighted)

Create a smoke free site, including all open and outdoor spaces/grounds, that are clearly signposted as smoke free and steps are taken to ensure smoking does not happen on the organisation’s premises.

Sickness Absence, Return to Work & Prevention (SA)



Produce a statement or policy on sickness absence, which includes clear and accessible procedures for reporting and managing sickness absence, and return to work. Share the statement or policy with staff.



Have processes in place for team leaders to agree regular contact with employees who are on sickness absence or maternity leave; and for team leaders to discuss return to work requirements with employees who are returning to work after a period of sickness absence or maternity leave.



Encourage eligible employees to access screening and other health services by sharing information and signposting.


Review regularly the sickness absence data to identify trends and patterns, to identify areas in which intervention may be needed to support employees’ health and wellbeing.


Make reasonable adjustments for employees that have a disability, long term conditions or MSK problem, or are experiencing difficulties with alcohol or substance misuse, to enable them to stay in work.


Encourage employees whose sickness absence is expected to continue beyond 4 weeks to discuss with their GP or secondary care specialist any options for referral to support services such as physiotherapy, counselling or occupational therapy. If you have an Employee Assistance Programme and/or Occupational Health Service, you may encourage employees to access these instead.


Offer referral to health rehabilitation and support services, (e.g. physiotherapy, counselling or occupational therapy) to employees that are likely to be absent from work for more than 4 weeks. Signpost them to other possible sources of expert advice and support relevant to their condition.


Provide support for employees going through cancer treatment, or treatment for other long-term health conditions such as diabetes or depression.


Offer NHS Health Checks on site to staff, or make an interactive health kiosk available for use.


Allow all staff the flexibility to attend screening and other healthcare appointments during the working day.


Offer or encourage vaccinations to staff, relevant to job role.

Leadership, Management & Workplace Culture (LM)



Agree a communication channel with staff where organisational updates, messages and changes are shared. Ensure there is a function to include employees in senior decision making.



Ensure all leaders in the organisation, including line managers, directors and board members, are committed to the health and wellbeing of their workforce, and champion positive health behaviours.



Conduct an annual staff health and wellbeing assessment, and promote two health campaigns or activities based on the assessment results.  Share the results with employees, with actions to be taken to improve any highlighted issues.



Encourage employees to take regular breaks away from their work, and foster a culture where this is deemed acceptable.


Ensure health and wellbeing statements or policies are included in any induction, training and development programmes for new employees.


Offer all employees the same opportunities with support, training, CPD, progression, secondment or personal development.


Become a disability committed employer.


(Previous Criteria Required)

Become a disability confident employer.


Promote engagement with trade unions, professional bodies and employee organisations amongst staff.


Ensure key members of staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to support employees in their roles, and understand that facilitating employee health and wellbeing is also a central part of their role.


Undertake activity to influence community health in a positive way and commit to social value initiatives.


(Mandatory for Silver)

Conduct an annual staff health and wellbeing assessment, and promote two health campaign or activity per year based on the assessment results; plus one extra health campaign or event of choice.  Share the results with employees, with actions to be taken to improve any highlighted issues.


(Mandatory for Gold)

Conduct an annual staff health and wellbeing assessment, and promote two health campaign or activity per year based on the assessment results; plus one extra health campaign or event of choice.  Share the results with employees, with actions to be taken to improve any highlighted issues.


Provide cancer awareness training to key members of staff.


Provide support for employees who have caring responsibilities for family members.


Recognise, promote and support employees with aspects of healthy ageing.


Raise awareness in the workplace of the environmental agenda.


Produce statements or policies on bullying, harassment, whistleblowing and equality and diversity. Include procedures to ensure unfair treatment of employees is addressed impartially and as a matter of priority.

Musculoskeletal Health & Health & Safety (MSK)



Raise awareness of MSK pain and disorders, providing information on prevention and pain management to all staff (including signposting to support services and resources available).



Ensure the organisation has procedures in place for reporting and recording MSK symptoms, as well as for making reasonable adjustments for individuals where an issue is raised. Share with staff.



Produce a risk assessment for MSK conditions for your workplace.



Nominate a designated party or employee responsible for health and safety, that ensures the organisation is up to date with current legislation.


Provide staff with access to referral for early assessment and treatment for MSK conditions.


Offer training, workshops or prevention programmes on the topic of MSK or aches and pains to employees.

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