The social security institution must have a legal and financial mandate for its role as a workplace health promoter. The mandate defines the institution’s scope of action and allows individualized services as well as community-based workplace health promotion activities. The mandate establishes a statutory right to health promotion services for insured persons. It may also state that a specified amount of the social health insurance budget may be used for (workplace) health promotion. Legislation is also necessary to define the boundaries between the state’s public health activities and health promotion activities within the social health insurance framework, and to establish platforms for coordination and partnerships.
Obtaining a legal and financial mandate requires there to be a supportive policy environment in which to establish the legislative framework. A supportive policy environment is based on building the case for workplace health promotion and aligning workplace health promotion within overall health strategy. The mandate determines the scope and financial rules and is incorporated into official workplace health promotion implementation rules. In developing workplace health promotion activities, equal access for the whole insured population must be ensured. Hence, workplace health promotion can be instrumental in reducing health inequalities. At-risk individuals and groups and the currently “healthy” population can be reached at their workplaces. However, workplace health promotion programmes must be aligned with the company goals and be part of the business strategy and also the continuous improvement circle that drives a company towards excellence. Because implementing the mandate is closely associated with the statutory rights of the insured population, the social security institution can, of course, be held accountable. Reporting systems must be in place to ensure transparency with regard to actions and resources.