Be Well @ Work Award

We offer free support for businesses to achieve the South Yorkshire Be Well @ Work Award.

The award provides a framework to work towards building good practice in workplace health and wellbeing. It helps you to create a culture that:

  • aligns with your overall business goals
  • enhances your business reputation
  • helps to make your business a great place to work

Award structure

The award is free and supports all types of employer: public, private or those in the voluntary sector. It's available for all sizes of organisation: small, medium or large. You'll gain recognition for your efforts and be awarded a certificate. It also allows you to progress through bronze, silver to gold certification.

Once awarded, the certificate is valid for two years. To progress to the next level before the end of the two year period, you can ask to be reassessed.

As part of the award you'll find out what you are already doing well and where you can improve. You may already meet many of the criteria. You'll also get ideas and targets to work towards, which you can include within a plan of action.

How to join the scheme

For more details of the criteria and how you can achieve the award, contact your workplace health officer.


For a range of model policies and guidelines to help with working towards the Be Well @ Work Award, see our workplace health resources.

Businesses on board

The following have achieved the Be Well @ Work Award.

Name Level achieved Expiry date
Barnsley Premier Leisure Gold 25 July 2024
Rotherham Council Silver 5 July 2024
GXO (Asos) Gold 18 October 2024
Barnsley Norse Silver 20 January 2025
Horizon Community College Silver 26 April 2025
Barnsley Council Gold 17 May 2025
Berneslai Homes Gold 29 March 2025
Royston Glass Bronze 13 September 2025
Premier Foods Gold 21 March 2026
Target Information Systems Silver 7 February 2026
Hargreaves Industrial Services Head Office Bronze 13 June 2026

Case studies

XPO Logistics

XPO Logistics (Asos site) is based in the east of the borough at Parks Springs in Grimethorpe. It's the largest private sector employer in the South Yorkshire region, employing more than 4000 colleagues on site.

Grimethorpe is one of the most deprived areas of Barnsley. The area was dependant on the mining industry which led to high unemployment when the mines closed.


The health and wellbeing programme has allowed XPO to build on its absence, attrition and engagement plans.

Sickness absence has reduced from 10% in 2013/14 to 5% in 2014/15. Employee engagement has improved on site by 50% year on year. Attrition rates continue to fall in line and are tracking around 50% improvement year on year.

Reasons for the programme

XPO wanted to play a key role in enhancing employee health and wellbeing. Sickness levels were high and retention rates low, which needed to be addressed. XPO recognised the business benefits of investing in the health and wellbeing of their staff. They decided to implement the programme to improve staff morale and provide a healthier workplace.

Actions XPO took

An occupational health nurse was appointed to support the management of sickness absence. An engagement coordinator looked at ways to engage with staff. XPO used the health framework to develop their wellbeing programme. Due to the business size, a steering group was set up to progress this.

A health needs assessment was undertaken with a random sample of staff. This was to establish priorities and find out what activities employees would be interested in. The measures introduced to improve employee health and wellbeing include:

  • a training programme for managers
  • increased communication with employees
  • reward schemes and incentives (such as employees being given annual leave on their birthday)
  • health support
  • a range of health promotion activities to encourage staff to look after their own health

Some of these healthy workplace promotions were:

  • flu jabs
  • free fruit
  • health drop-in sessions
  • on-site physiotherapist
  • diabetes clinics
  • sexual health promotions

Some of the physical activities supported were cycling events, football, runs and walks. This resulted with Asos achieving the Workplace Wellbeing Charter national award for England in October 2015. They achieved excellence in six out of eight of the subject areas.

Dearne Advanced Learning Centre (ALC)

Dearne ALC is an educational centre for students aged 11 to 19 in Goldthorpe. This is in one of the borough's most deprived areas. Rates of long term unemployment are higher than the rest of Barnsley and England. This is also true of people of working age who claim benefits.

Its resident's life expectancy is below the national average. Smoking being the largest risk factor. Heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease are the main causes of mortality.

In respect of child poverty, 37.2% of Dearne North and 29.2% of Dearne South pupils are eligible for free school meals

Reasons for the programme

The ALC is outcome focused with the aim of improving student exam results. Financially the ALC is like many schools - stretched in terms of its budget. It needed to invest in the health and wellbeing of staff without any extra funding.

Actions Dearne ALC took

A health and wellbeing programme was set up following the local workplace health scheme. The ALC achieved the silver award level. A health and wellbeing survey was undertaken with employees. This helped them to prioritise the actions they were going to implement.

The key elements of the wellbeing programme were:

  • Health management. The ALC worked with NHS to deliver blood pressure and weight checks, and flu jabs. They also worked with other groups such as Fit Reds and Diabetes UK. 
  • Prevention and care. This included absence management, support to return to work, job health support and KIT meetings. It also included free bus passes, yoga and Zumba classes, cycle schemes and counselling. 
  • Wider support. Services included were car valeting on-site, ironing and dry cleaning services, a mobile car mechanic, discounted therapies and charity fundraising.
  • Structures leadership and management. Flexible working, compassionate leave, and line managers in place.


Attendance to work has shown a significant increase for teaching staff. There was a reduction in sickness absence from 3.4% for long term sickness in 2012/13 to 0.9% in 2014/15.

In respect of short term sickness absence, there's been a reduction from 2.3% in 2012/13 to 2% in 2014/15.

In total, days lost reduced from 752.2 days in 2012/13 to 341.8 days in 2014/15. This has meant savings in teaching staff cover costs.

Attendance at work also increased for associate staff. This has shown a reduction in the number of days absence from 438.9 days in 2012/13 to 225.8 in 2014/15. It also shows a reduction in short term absence from 1.9% to 1.7% and long term absence from 2.3% in 2012/13 to 0.5% in 2014/15.

Real impact

  • Student attendance up by over 3% in two years.
  • Exclusions down, including both days lost and number of incidents.
  • NEETs down 2%.
  • GCSE results up by 8%, bucking the national 2% drop.
  • Narrowing gaps and all groups improving performance against national data.

Barnsley Hospice 

Barnsley Hospice is a charity that provides specialist palliative care services. It provides a warm, friendly, relaxed environment where the patients and their family’s needs come first. The hospice is just outside Barnsley town centre and is registered with the Care Quality Commission. In total they supported 695 patients through over 6100 contacts during the 12 months up to 31 March 2015.

As a specialist care provider, the range of treatments they provide include:

  • pain and symptom management
  • emotional support
  • end of life care

It costs over £10,000 a day to run the hospice. Some of this is received as a grant from the local CCG. However, they still need to raise over £2m per year through donations in order to stay open.

They employ 120 permanent staff, with a further 50 'bank' (or 'as and when') staff. The hospice also has a team of 222 volunteers working across all areas.

Reasons Barnsley Hospice implemented the programme

Barnsley Hospice wanted to focus on being able to provide the best possible service to its patients and their families. They realised that staff retention and reducing the level of sickness played a great part in this. Investing time and effort into workforce health has encouraged their team to be healthier and improved the relationship between colleagues.

Actions Barnsley Hospice took

The hospice developed a health and wellbeing programme in 2015. As a starting point, a health and wellbeing survey was undertaken. This helped the hospice to understand more about their colleagues. They asked what improvements staff would like to see which would have a positive effect on their wellbeing. These included things such as health and fitness classes, therapy, advice and tips for stress at work.

As a result, the hospice provided a programme of fitness classes after work free of charge. These were attended by around 10% of the workforce. They also worked with Rotherham College who provided free therapy treatments to staff and volunteers. They have an ongoing weekly Pilates class for staff and volunteers to attend, and also introduced meditation sessions after work. 

They reviewed all of their HR policies and are now supporting the sickness absence of colleagues more closely. They have regular welfare meetings with any colleagues who are on long term sick. Since starting the programme, they've had many positive comments from colleagues. Staff said they can feel and see the difference compared to before the programme.


Barnsley Hospice achieved the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Charter in July 2015. Since achieving the charter they have seen:

  • a more positive attitude of colleagues
  • colleague engagement in the programmes and treatments on site
  • staff feeling more appreciated and valued

TLC Homecare

Town and Local Carehome (TLC) is part of the OptimoCare group of companies. They specialise in providing home care to allow people to remain in their own homes across South and West Yorkshire. TLC employs more than 350 staff across the region. They have a sister company, WarrenCare, who operate in the north west.

Reasons TLC Homecare implemented a programme

TLC Homecare wanted to raise awareness of the importance of health and wellbeing. This was to help support employees and reduce staff turnover.

Actions taken

TLC introduced simple measures to assist visibility of all health and wellbeing information. This included health and wellbeing boards. They also:

  • created newsletters
  • added a health and wellbeing page to their website
  • attended focus days to build their knowledge of the subject

TLC found it daunting applying for the award but was guided by us and their assessor. TLC raised awareness of subjects such as:

  • stopping smoking
  • healthy eating
  • physical activity
  • health conditions
  • mental health issues

They also made it easier to obtain information on these subjects.

TLC now have the policies and processes in place to support employees as and when needed.


The Workplace Wellbeing Charter is helping TLC to instil health and wellbeing into their culture. This will support TLC to continue to reduce staff turnover.

Working towards the award helped TLC raise awareness about health and wellbeing and support their employees better.