Open letter to the Chancellor: A proven approach to employee productivity

In response to the growing absence and productivity crisis, the Government consultation process on occupational health, and the forthcoming Autumn statement, we have issued an open letter to the Government discussing the urgent need for a sustainable solution. Read the full letter below, as issued by Ed Radkiewicz, CEO of our group company, Marcol Health.

HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road

October 2023

Dear Chancellor,

RE: A proven approach to employee productivity

I write to you as CEO of Marcol Health, a specialist investor in healthcare services and technology; and Executive Chairman of GoodShape; a UK company that is a leader in utilising data-led technology solutions to drive improvement in employee health and productivity. This is an open letter forming part of a wider communication to build greater awareness of critical issues and solutions across industry.

The recent media activity regarding sickness absence, the Government consultation process on occupational health (which we are contributing to) and the forthcoming Autumn statement that may include incentives for greater investment in employee health have led me to write to you.

Employee health creates a staggering financial burden for British industry – our data shows it can be equivalent to one month's salary for every employee. Manifesting as long-term absenteeism, return-to-work issues, agency costs, staff turnover, insurance claims and suboptimal workforce planning; all taking a significant toll on the UK’s productivity. We firmly believe that these issues can be anticipated and mitigated with reliable data and proven processes.

We estimate that UK organisations spend approximately £1.5 billion annually on health services, including occupational health, telehealth, mental and physical wellbeing, along with a further £7 billion on company-sponsored medical and protection insurance.

Individually, these services can be high-quality and evidence-based, but the problems e.g., sickness absence, continue to increase as the underlying issues are not being fully addressed. This is due to:

  1. a lack of accurate data on issues, risks and outcomes
  2. misaligned, fragmented and underutilised services
  3. poor employee engagement

For over a decade, GoodShape ( has worked with many organisations (in both the private and public sectors including 35 NHS hospitals through a public sector framework agreement) collectively employing almost one million people. They have recorded more than 23 million events, creating a proprietary dataset of more than 1.2 billion datapoints which we have shared with the Government during COVID, and more recently through our growing relationship with the ONS.

This experience has led to the development of a scalable solution: Enterprise Health Management (EHM). This is a data-led technology platform that holds an organisation’s healthcare services in one centralised location. Through a digital engagement gateway, EHM drives higher, coordinated utilisation and integrates with HR systems. By continuously capturing consistent real-time data we have developed highly accurate predictive analytics and measured improved outcomes, including:

  • significant cost reductions, leading to a strong return on investment
  • decreased sickness absence (up to 50%)
  • improved return to work (e.g., daily adding-back 1,000 front-line hours at a major NHS Trust)
  • a healthier, more motivated workforce

Our partners have seen firsthand how data-led decision making with technology applications is key to successful progress in today’s challenging environment. We have proven that the application of this principle to strategies and services supporting employee health will allow organisations and Government to:

  • accurately understand the health issues and future risks
  • facilitate appropriate (and adequate) service selection and design
  • achieve early detection with an engaging process, so services are used at the optimal time

Your Autumn Statement may encourage greater employer participation in the health of their employees. This is a positive step, and with tangible incentives, we believe it will motivate employers to invest more.

We invite you to seriously consider how the application of a proven, scalable, data-led approach could mitigate the challenges facing employee productivity. Based on clear evidence from our data, it will help maximise and accelerate the value and impact of existing traditional services. Applied in conjunction, we are certain that such an approach can heavily support the drive towards health outcomes and business objectives.

We would be delighted to discuss this further and engage with you and your colleagues, building on our existing interactions with other Governmental bodies that you might find helpful. As part of this, we can demonstrate how our unique dataset and Enterprise Health Management platform can cost-effectively help improve UK productivity.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Radkiewicz

CEO of MARCOL Health
Executive Chairman of GoodShape

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