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How to Protect Your Business Against the Impact of Long-Term Absence
This week marked the launch of the Government’s Good Work Plan outlining workplace reforms designed to complement a strong, fair future for the UK labour market.
Prompted by the 2017 Taylor Review of modern working practices, the new rules include a host of initiatives supporting employee engagement, fairness and inclusion.
It is now mandatory for employers to give workers the details of their rights from their very first day in employment. This includes details of eligibility for maternity and paternity leave, as well as sick leave and pay, in a written statement to all workers.
Long-Term Sick Leave
We welcome the news that the issue of long-term sick leave is being prioritised and that these new measures provide much-needed clarity around sick pay policies.
Research shows that 2.5 million UK workers are unaware of their employer’s policy on statutory sick pay and would face a significant salary shortfall if they were unwell and unable to work.
In a press release, Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD) reinforces the need for such regulations: “It’s absolutely crucial that people . . . have a clear idea of what they can expect from their employer if they have a period of sickness absence.
Following this change, workers will be able to make a better-informed decision on whether they need to make their own provision or whether they should lobby their employer to do more for them.”
Group Income Protection Benefits
With long-term absence through sickness, injury or accident costing UK businesses £6.5bn per year, group income protection is an affordable type of cover that is essential for businesses to build financial resilience and protect against the impact of sickness absence.
This employee benefit positions your business as one that that values its employees and provides a safeguard for them and their families during more difficult times in the form of a replacement income stream.
Income protection insurance also protects your business in the case of long-term absence which could otherwise take a major toll on both finances and morale. With policies paying out £466.5 million in 2017 with the average claim amount of £24,257 a year, claimants receive a whole host of support.
It also means maximising productivity by allowing workers time off when are they too unwell to do the job properly. This gives you peace of mind that all employees are working at full capacity and that your business bottom line will stay firmly intact.
The What and the Why
Protection policies can include features such as Occupational Therapy to expedite the employee’s return to work. Policies also offer the opportunity to temporarily replace absent staff or minimise the risk of overtime payments for employees covering the absent role.
This will ease the strain on business resources and also avoid the pressure of extending Statutory Sick Pay. Another benefit of this insurance is that it helps employers to avoid unauthorised absence or inappropriate use of sick pay schemes.
While one of the most common reasons for not taking out insurance is “it will never happen to me”, research suggests otherwise. Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that, on average, 960,000 employees take sick leave for a month or more every year, while new research from Royal London revealed that more than half of UK workers would struggle financially if they were off sick for longer than a month.
Group Risk Development
In line with our commitment to providing the highest quality employee benefits advice, our team at Vintage Corporate have recently chosen to join Group Risk Development (GRiD) to bring more of our clients into the group risk market. We currently advise more than 1000 corporate pension clients and we are always seeking the best ways in which to provide access to the best opportunities.
As part of our GRiD membership, we will associate with a high-quality network of providers and major employee benefit companies where building and nurturing these new relationships allows our team to build on our longstanding position as trusted employee benefits advisers.
In order to consistently enhance our offering, being a part of GRiD means we are positioned at the forefront of the latest education, regulation and legislation updates affecting group risk benefits. This allows us to provide our client base with a fully informed service based on up-to-the-minute information.
Choosing the Right Policy
As a medium-large employee benefits adviser, our expert team at Vintage Corporate will help to you to answer key questions in order to choose the right group income protection policy for you and your workforce.
These include how long you choose to wait until the policy pays out which is referred to as the deferred period and usually spans anything from one week to one year.
We will also discuss whether you wish to opt for a short- or long-term pay-out plan and the level of cover required, which is typically between 50-75% of the pre-incapacity salary.
As GRiD’s latest employer research shows that 75% of employers believe that group income protection is more expensive than it is, we provide access to range of policy options within this highly affordable employee benefit.
Income protection should play an integral role in a wider employee benefits package to act as an effective recruitment and retention tools whilst protecting the best interests of your employees and your business.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Group Income Protection for your business and how to protect against the physical, emotional and financial impact of long-term absence, contact our expert team today on 020 8371 5232 or email email@example.com.
We can also discuss your wider protection planning arrangements and identify any gaps to ensure that you are gaining the highest value from your employee benefits package.
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