Published: 11 April 2019

Healthy workplace tools in five countries. An evidence review

This information review, undertaken on behalf of the Department of Health, informs the National Healthy Workplace Framework and implementation plan and will contribute to the business case for healthy workplace programmes. Five anglophone countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and the USA)  were included in the review. 

This information review found that in each of the five countries either a government department or more frequently a nominated government agency was appointed to implement its national healthy workplace programme. The national healthy workplace programmes in the countries selected involved one or more of the following activities: selecting health-related topics (all countries), developing an online information hub linked to a network of expert agencies (all countries), documenting a management or health promotion process to help the government agency engage with employers and workplaces (four countries), employing advisers or training trainers (three countries), and an accreditation process for workplaces or employers (three countries), which included qualified assessors (two countries). 

Three countries (Canada, New Zealand and Scotland) employed a social marketing approach to their programmes and four countries (Australia, Canada, Scotland and the USA) used a population health approach.

There was little data on cost and staff supports and Scotland was the only country that published detailed costs data. Only two countries, New Zealand and Scotland, had published evaluations examining specific aspects of the healthy workplace process. The main lessons learned from these are that healthy workplace programmes are enhanced by a structured roll-out process (New Zealand), adequate funding (New Zealand and Scotland), evidence-informed activities (Scotland), and the development of useful indicators to measure impact (Scotland).


  • Anne McCarthy
  • Joan Quigley
  • Jean Long

Publication (PDF, 3 MB)

Publication (PDF, 3 MB)

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