When employers purchase a Group Insurance policy for their employees – be it Group Life, Group Health, or Group Income Protection Insurance – employees are often given access to a range of support services through their insurance providers.
These are employee assistance programmes, designed to support employees’ physical, mental and financial health, in some instances even extending access to employees’ family.
Some truly shocking stress statistics have come out of the woodwork regarding stress and mental health. Fortunately, employers are increasingly realising the toll this takes on their employees and mental health has become the number one concern for many companies.
Yet many employers are unsure how to tackle these problems, especially with a limited budget. However, for some employers, the solution may be sitting right under their nose in the form of an Employee Assistance Program without them even realising it.
The benefits that you find within Employee Assistance Programmes can be an effective means of addressing stress and mental health in the workplace.
Some of the more popular types of services offered with group insurance policies are:
These services benefit everyone and can be highly appealing employee benefits by themselves, regardless of the insurance product attached to them. However, not many people are aware that these services come with their group protection.
Most of the services in an Employee Assistance Programme don’t require the employee to make a claim on the attached policy in order to use them.
In fact, many of them are aimed at preventing a claim before one starts.
While these services are often used as an employee attempts to return to work from a period of illness, which would potentially be after a claim has been made, many programs are aimed at preventing these absences from occurring in the first place.
Many of these services can be used at any time, particularly the provided helplines and information services. Some providers even extend availability of these services to employees’ families.
Most of these services can be used an unlimited number of times, although some types of services, like face-to-face counselling or physiotherapy, will be limited to a certain number of sessions per employee. These limits will be outlined in the documents provided.
Aside from these particular limits, employees can continue using these services until they leave the group insurance scheme.
Some employees don’t use these services because they worry that any information they share might be passed onto their employer. However, these services are usually provided by companies separate to the insurance provider and operate with guaranteed confidentiality.
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry
Employee Assistance Programmes are often parcelled in with Group Risk and Group Health policies, but many people covered by such insurances simply aren’t aware that these extra support services are available to them.
There tends to be a lack of communication about these additional benefits, with the focus being on the main risk the policy is addressing rather than on what else it can do for workers.
Many employees don’t find out until it is too late that they are able to access these services. Others that are aware of these services don’t know how to access them or don’t know that they are not required to make a formal claim with the insurer in order to use them.
Overlooking these support services can be a big mistake for employers considering the positive impact they can have. When employees are aware of the services available to them and know how to access them, some instances of long-term absence may be avoided.
Before Employee Assistance Programmes are able to tackle the problem of workplace stress, employers need to look closer at the group insurance products they apply for and learn how to properly promote the services available.
The employee assistance services provided by the following insurers come free of charge when you purchase a Group Income Protection Insurance or Group Life Insurance policy.
Even before employees have had a chance to use Employee Assistance Services, they can have a positive impact on your organisation.
85% of UK workers say that they are more likely to work for employers who offer clearly labelled benefits and putting your Employee Assistance Programme at the forefront of your employee benefits package can make for an enticing offer.
When you consider that Employee Assistance Services are essentially offered as a bonus extra when you provide Group Health Insurance or Group Risk, promoting them to your workforce costs nothing and could see significant benefits for the future.
For more information about Employee Benefits and the Employee Assistance programmes that accompany them, speak to our advisers. We can help you find the right products, compare quotes and apply for your policy. If you need help don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880.
Director 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.