Development of the Workplace Health Savings Calculator: A practical tool to measure economic impact from reduced absenteeism and staff turnover in workplace health promotion Public Health

Siyan Baxter, Sharon Campbell, Kristy Sanderson, Carl Cazaly, Alison Venn, Carole Owen, Andrew J. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Workplace health promotion is focussed on improving the health and wellbeing of workers. Although quantifiable effectiveness and economic evidence is variable, workplace health promotion is recognised by both government and business stakeholders as potentially beneficial for worker health and economic advantage. Despite the current debate on whether conclusive positive outcomes exist, governments are investing, and business engagement is necessary for value to be realised. Practical tools are needed to assist decision makers in developing the business case for workplace health promotion programs. Our primary objective was to develop an evidence-based, simple and easy-to-use resource (calculator) for Australian employers interested in workplace health investment figures. Results: Three phases were undertaken to develop the calculator. First, evidence from a literature review located appropriate effectiveness measures. Second, a review of employer-facilitated programs aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of employees was utilised to identify change estimates surrounding these measures, and third, currently available online evaluation tools and models were investigated. We present a simple web-based calculator for use by employers who wish to estimate potential annual savings associated with implementing a successful workplace health promotion program. The calculator uses effectiveness measures (absenteeism and staff turnover rates) and change estimates sourced from 55 case studies to generate the annual savings an employer may potentially gain. Australian wage statistics were used to calculate replacement costs due to staff turnover. The calculator was named the Workplace Health Savings Calculator and adapted and reproduced on the Healthy Workers web portal by the Australian Commonwealth Government Department of Health and Ageing. Conclusion: The Workplace Health Savings Calculator is a simple online business tool that aims to engage employers and to assist participation, development and implementation of workplace health promotion programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number457
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Absenteeism
  • Calculator
  • Employee
  • Health economics
  • Policy-research collaboration
  • Productivity
  • Return on investment
  • Staff turnover
  • Workplace
  • Workplace health promotion

Cite this