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Over 43% of businesses have had employees absent from work for more than four weeks due to ill health in the last two years, according to new research by the British Chambers of Commerce and Unum.
More than 55% said they would do everything within their power to assist a member of staff back to work following a period of illness.
Despite this, the number of SME businesses offering protection benefits to employees remains worryingly low – only 8% of the 1000 UK businesses surveyed (91% were SMEs) offered income protection cover to their staff.
Employers, therefore, appear to understand the impact absence can have on both employees and their organisation but very few have appropriate cover in place for their employees.
Group Income Protection is an affordable way to protect employees unable to work as a result of long term absence by ensuring a continued income for a set period – a great help to employees at a difficult time.
However, the employer also benefits by having the cover in place. Additionally, insurers offer comprehensive early intervention support to employers to help them manage absences and get employees back to work quicker. Support can be available as early as day one of absence and can include access to specialist helplines often staffed by registered nurses, absence management support, access to rehabilitation consultants, support around a gradual and structured return to work if appropriate or even arranging for specific medical procedures for an employee.
Almost 50% of SME employers believe long-term sickness for a key employee would have a significant – or even critical (24%) – impact on the welfare of their business according to the research.
Employers should, therefore, be considering going one step further to protect the business financially should a key individual be unable to work for an extended period as a result of a critical illness. Key Person Cover can provide a payment into the business to help cover recruitment costs, loss of profit, etc. Quotes can be started here on our website.
All the tools are readily available to employers to protect both their employees and the businesses themselves. With appropriate guidance, employers can easily establish a suitable long-term protection strategy.
Busy Bees Benefits work with organisations of all shapes and sizes to build appropriate benefits programmes for their employees – whether that be new benefits or a review of existing benefits to ensure they are fit for purpose and are being utilised effectively.
Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat by calling us on 0330 333 9100.