Employer Information Sheet

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Title: Feasibility of 1-hour and 30-minute lifestyle behaviour change interventions designed to improve employee health and productivity in SMEs

As a manufacturing SME you have been invited to take part in the above project. We are aiming to recruit 9 - 12 workplaces in the Sheffield City Region, who do not currently have a staff wellness strategy.

Before you decide if you want to be involved it is important that you read the information below, as this contains details about why we are carrying out the study and what it will involve. 

In the even that we have too many workplaces interested in participating by the deadline, workplaces will be selected to participate at random, prior to being randomised to one of three intervention groups. Unfortunately you cannot choose whether to take part in the programme or which intervention you will receive as this has to be done at random. 

What is the purpose of the project?

The purpose of the study is to look at the feasibility of using an individually tailored approach for improving staff health and wellbeing to increase productivity in manufacturing SMEs. We will be comparing two wellness session lengths (30 - minutes and 1 - hour) with providing participants with lifestyle information only. 

What will your workplace be required to do? 

All of the workplaces selected will be required to do the following: 

  • Complete some basic information about their workplace including; contact details and unique business identifiers
  • Recruit employees to take part in the study through appropriate communication methods (we will provide template letters/emails/information sheets etc)
  • Provide time for recruited employees to complete two evaluation questionnaires, one at the start of the study (January 2020) and one 5 months later (approximately 20 - minutes per questionnaire). In addition, all employees and employers will be asked to complete a short feedback questionnaire about the programme (5 - minutes) 
  • A small selection of employees and employers will be asked to take part in focus groups after the programme to learn more ab out how the programme was perceived and what could make it better (30 - 60 minutes) 
  • All employees will have access to advice leaflets from the British Heart Foundation, relating to healthy lifestyle behaviours and cardiovascular risk factors
  • Both you and the employee will be able to withdraw from the project at any time and without giving a reason. If as an employer you withdraw then your employees will be withdrawn
  • All individual data collected will be confidential and we will only b able to report data back in anonymised groups, to ensure anonymity of participants

Employees based at two thirds of workplaces will received a tailored one-to-one wellness session, consisting of health screen and lifestyle review (half will receive a full 1-hour session and half a 30-minute version). Employees will be able to have the wellness session on-site (if appropriate room available) or at one of our three locations across the city (Sheffield Hallam University City Centre or Ecclesall Road or the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre in Attercliffe).

  • Employees will be asked to attend two wellness sessions of either 30-minute or 60-minute duration (depending on your group allocation). One in January and one in June
  • 30 - minute session includes: Health screen (height, weight, body composition, waist circumference, blood pressure, resting heart rate, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, blood glucose), feedback and goal setting. 
  • 60 - minute session: As above plus assessment of, lung function and aerobic fitness. 
  • All tests are voluntary and employees will be able to choose what is most relevant to them. 
  • If any results are deemed at risk during the assessment employees will be recommended to follow up with their General Practitioner at their earliest convenience. For the safety of all participants a full risk assessment is carried out in-line with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines. If either the participant or practitioner is considered at risk from any of the assessments then they will not be carried out.
  • Employees will also receive a follow-up support call/email/letter (whichever is appropriate for your workplace) in March / April 2020

What are the possible benefits of taking part? 

Our previous research suggests that this intervention is likely to improve the health and wellbeing of staff who participate, with improvements in health and wellbeing reported to be strongly linked to overall business productivity (Public Health England, 2015). This can be through reductions in absenteeism, improvements in performance whilst at work and better staff retention. 

What are the possible risks or disadvantages to taking part? 

The study has been reviewed by the Sport Ethics commitee at SHU. The risks of taking part in a health screen and lifestyle review session are considered low/moderate and we do not believe that there are any disadvantages to those taking part, beyond the time required to participate.

When will I have the opportunity to discuss my participation?

Prior to deciding whether to take part you will be given the opportunity to discuss the project with a member of the team and ask any questions. You will also be able to contact the project team at any point during the 12-month project.

Who is undertaking the study? 

The study is being funded by the Department off Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS). Researchers at SHU will be delivering the project and collecting data for the purposes of the Innovate UK, Business Basic Programme (led by Dr Anouska Carter and Dr Jeff Breckon)

What will happen to the project results after the study? 

We will provide a final report of the anonymised results to all participating workplaces at the end of the programme. We may also present the information at relevant conferences and publish in industry publications and academic journals. All individual results will be anonymised. This will enable us to disseminate the findings from the programme and improve understanding of what works in terms of workplace wellness in Manufacturing SMEs. 

This notice sets out how we will us your personal data, and your rights. It is made under Articles 13 and/or 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (2018).



  • Company name, contact details (name, address, email, telephone), unique business identifiers (i.e. VAT/PAYEE number), number of employees, business type. 
  • Some employers will take part in focus groups about the programme with anonymised data recorded and transcribed to look at themes. 


  • All groups: Contact details (name, email, telephone), Questionnaire data (Quality of life. lifestyle behaviour and absenteeism, presenteeism), personal data (age, gender, ethnicity, job type), project feedback questionnaire.
  • Intervention group (30-minute): Health screen data (height, weight, body composition, waist circumference, blood pressure, resting heart rate, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, blood glucose), Health history (pre-assessment questionnaire to ensure safety during the assessment)
  • Intervention group (60-minute): Health screen data (as above plus, lung function and aerobic capacity via a moderate intensity step test) 
  • Some employees will take part in focus groups about the programme with data recorded and transcribed to look at themes. 

We will be processing your personal data to enable us to evaluate the overall impact of the project and determine if it is feasible to test this intervention on a larger scale. It will also enable us to provide employees with individual feedback on their health screen data. 

What is the legal basis for research studies? 

The University undertakes research as part of its function for the community under its legal status. Data protection allows us to use personal data for research with appropriate safeguards in place under the legal basis of public tasks that are in the public interest. A full statement of your rights can be found at https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-this-website/privacy-policy/privacy-notices/privacy-notice-for-research However, all University research is reviewed to ensure that participants are treated appropriately and their rights respected. This study was approved by UREC with Converis number ER18500265. Further information at https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/ethics-integrity-and-practice

Who will receive your data, how will it be stored and for how long? 

All collected during the project will be stored in accordance with the Data Protect Act (2018).

As part of this grant funding, The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are the data controller and you (the consortium) are data processors. In other words, BEIS are funding projects to collect data for the purposes of the Business Basis Programme.

BEIS will have access to the data collected as part of this project, e.g. survey data, unique identifiers, and contact details of participants. Unique business identifiers may include; companies house registration numbers, VAT/PAYE number, Unique Tax Reference number, business name, address, SIC code etc. Data may be linked with other administrative data sources (e.g. HMRC data) for long term economic impact analysis, and further evaluation activity, to inform future policy making. This data may also be shared with an external contractor to conduct this analysis on BEIS's behalf. BEIS will also have access to contact information, in the event of re-contacting participants for further research (e.g. follow up surveys). In limited circumstances the continuum of data will potentially transcend to sole traders. Data will be retained by the department in lin with best practice guidance and standards provided by the National Archives. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/browse-guidance-standards

Data will be kept at SHU for up to 5 years following the completion of the programme. Health screen data will be transferred to a server and will be SSL encrypted via GeoTrust, complying with ISO9001. The online questionnaire uses Qualtrics as licenced by SHU research drive. Any other data will be stored on the universities secure research drive. All paper questionnaires will be stored in a locked cabinet in a locked room accessed only by Dr Anouska Carter and her nominees. Under the Data Protection Act, you are entitled to gain access to the personal data that the University holds about you. These rights are explained on the staff intranet: https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-this-website/privacy-policy/privacy-notices/privacy-notice-for-research 


The research study is being managed at SHU by Dr Anouska Carter and Dr Jeff Breckon, and only these researchers and their nominees and the person running the Wellness session will have access to the information gained from the employee.

No data will be published by SHU that could identify your workplace or its employee's. Data which could identify employees will not be passed to any other members of staff, management or any other person. All our reports and analyses of the data will be based aggregates (groups of people rather than individuals) and published in an anonymised format. No individual employees or workplaces will be identified at any time. 

What are your rights? 

You have the right to request: 

  • Information about how your personal data are processed, and to request a copy of that personal data.
  • Any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay
  • Any incomplete personal data are completed, including by means of supplementary statement
  • Your personal data are erased if there is no longer a justification for them to be processed 
  • In certain circumstances (for example, where accuracy is contested) to request that the processing of your personal data is restricted
  • To object the processing of your personal data where it is processed for direct marketing purposes

Right to withdraw

It is up to you to decide if you want to take part. You will have the opportunity to ask questions prior to consenting. A copy of the information provided here is yours to keep. By attending the wellnes session and completing the evaluation an feedback questionnaires employees are consenting to their anonymised data being stored and used for evaluation and research purposes. You can still decide to withdraw at any time without giving reason. 

What if I have any questions or something goes wrong? 

At Sheffield Hallam University your contacts are:

  • If you would like to discuss the way that data is collected or processed within this project: Dr Anouska Carter at Sheffield Hallam University (Tel: 0114 255 5633)
  • If you feel that these regulations are being infringed, or that your interests are otherwise being ignored, neglected or denied: Mayur Ranchordas, Chair of the Sport Ethics Commitee (Tel: 0114 255 5678) who will undertake to investigate your complaint
  • If you have a query about how your data is used by the University, would like to report a data security breach (e.g. if you think your personal data has been lost or disclosed inappropriately) or would like to complain about how the University has used your personal data, your should contact the data protection officer: dpa@shu.ac.uk
  • If you have concerns with how the research was undertaken or how you were treated. You should contact: Professor Ann Macaskill (Head of Research Ethics): a.macaskill@shu.ac.uk

The information commissioner can be contacted: 

  • If you consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled, you may make a complain to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator.
  • Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, DSK9 5AF Tel: 0303 123 1113
  • Any complaint to the Information Commissioner is without predjudice to your rights to seek redress through the courts 

BEIS Data Protection Officer 

  • The data controller for your personal data is the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). You can contact the BEIS Data Protection Officer at: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H OET; Email: dataprotection@beis.gov.uk