Group Income Protection Insurance will insure a proportion of your employees’ salaries and pay them a monthly benefit if they can’t work due to accident or sickness.
While Income Protection is primarily designed to provide sick pay, corporate schemes come with a range of benefits that can help reduce employee sickness and absenteeism.
These programs help by offering employees different kinds of support that are accessible even when they aren’t making a claim on their policy.
While an insurance policy like Income Protection may not prevent accident or sickness, it can help employers minimise avoidable absences and better manage employee sickness.
Policies are designed to offer support beyond paying a claim, helping both employers and employees implement positive changes, and by offering services that help employees tackle their health problems head on.
Most employee benefits – including Group Income Protection – will offer what is known as an Employee Assistance Programme. These programmes are formed of a range of additional services and benefits designed to support and help employees.
Typically, these services can be used by employees at any time, regardless of whether they are claiming Income Protection benefits.
It is this reason that these beneficial programmes can not only support employees with poor health but also prevent instances of poor health in some circumstances. For instance, counselling services can help employees better manage stress and avoid burnouts that require time off work to recover.
These services may also include consultations for employers to help them make productive changes to their business that put focus on employee health and wellbeing.
This may involve highlighting health and safety issues around the workplace or making arrangements for an employee that’s not in great health to continue working on their own terms.
HR support services can help line managers and other bosses learn how to deal with employee absences by liaising with the absent worker, also.
A unique aspect of many Income Protection policies is that cover doesn’t have to end as soon as the employee returns to work.
Many insurers offer back-to-work benefits for employees returning to work after a claim that will pay out a proportion of their insured cover. These benefits are designed to top up their salary if they are having to work part-time or work at a reduced salary as they phase back into the workplace.
This can help retain a member of staff who is only partially recovered and may otherwise have to drop out of the company to take on a less stressful / lower impact / part-time role elsewhere because they aren’t ready to go back full-time.
A lot of group sick pay insurance policies offer a range of services and / or resources to help employees manage their health. These may be part of an employee assistance programme, offered independently or given as an optional add-on for increased premiums.
A few examples of some of these services include:
These types of services can be used to either help employees recover after a health problem or better manage their health on a day-to-day basis to prevent health problems in the future.
Online guides and medical helplines can help employees better manage their health as well as provide them with information on medical conditions they may be diagnosed with.
Meanwhile, virtual GPs can speed up a diagnosis progress, catching red flags that may lead to a more severe health problem if not addressed and all potentially faster than the NHS could offer.
Money worries are one of the biggest blights on the UK workforce. From our 2018 employee benefits survey, we found that 59% of people who regularly feel stress said that money was one of the main causes.
With household spending rising and savings very low, being out of work for as little as a few weeks could mean financial difficulties for some people. Such a precarious financial situation can lead to a lot of daily stress, which in turn will affect mental health.
This can add to the mental health problem that is plaguing UK workplaces. 17.7% of people admit that they have taken time off work in the past 12 months because of a mental health problem and 15.8% admit to taking time off work due to stress.
Group Income Protection is one way in which employers can help relieve their workers of some of this stress.
Knowing that there is financial support available if they need it can provide a lot of comfort for individuals that maybe don’t have the resources to pay their bills if they can’t work.
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry
I had the pleasure of dealing with Jake Mills in organising my insurance. Jake was fantastic to deal with — his patience and understanding really helped.