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United Biscuits Case Study

For the past 7 years, Connect have been working with United Biscuits (UB) McVities Carlisle to reduce their sickness
absence and prevent accidents from happening within the workplace. The service has always been extremely popular,
with feedback from all users being consistently positive, and satisfaction levels high.

How we did it

Any production or manufacturing environment will see employees prone to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). United Biscuits are no different, with the most common complaints being about the lower back and pelvis, neck, and upper limbs, which is consistent with other similar environments.

UB were keen to reduce the number of employees either on sick leave or on reduced duties due to MSDs, therefore a study group was set up to understand and quantify the effects early intervention occupational physiotherapy can have on the workforce.

Our challenge

Over a period of six months, a sample group of employees referred into the service were studied to understand their conditions and track their recovery.

Any reduction or prevention of absence was noted to ensure that we were able to calculate the full value of the service.

The results

Of the sample group, 45% had their absence from work reduced, with 55% having their absence eliminated completely*.

Based on average employee salaries, it was calculated that in absence costs alone, UB saved over £10,000, which represents over £13 saved for every £1 spent.

*based on the predicted absence the employee would have taken without any intervention or treatment

“A very valuable service and a great help to me”

Sandra Hickson, United Biscuits Employee

Connect On-site Service Benefits

  • Reduce and prevent MSD-related sickness absence
  • Facilitate and expedite return to work of MSD cases
  • Improve employee productivity and performance
  • Support employee health and wellbeing
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Introduce proactive initiatives to prevent future MSDs
  • Significantly reduce the financial costs associated with MSDs

“My treatment was excellent”

Ian Sanderson, United Biscuits Employee

Absence Management

Using case studies of UB employees, a number of cases were highlighted where absence had been reduced or prevented due to the physiotherapy service provided by Connect.

Using average wage figures for UB employees, we then estimated the absence saving and applied the wage figures to give an estimate of monetary savings.

In a six month study period (at six hours per week), we saved £10,786. We estimated that increasing to a 9 hour service would lead to savings of over £35,000 per annum.

United Biscuits agreed and the service was increased.


Benefits to United Biscuits

  • Increased cost savings
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced sickness absence
  • High levels of patient satisfaction

Benefits for Employees

  • Quick, easy access
  • Physiotherapist on-site for convenience
  • No need to take time off work
  • High-quality MSK physiotherapist
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