Cash or Benefits? What is it Going To Be?

How has the recession affected employee reward? According to a new study by Unum, of the 100 HR professionals they polled, 38% of those who allow employees to cash in benefits have seen a growth in the proportion of staff utilising this option.

The study suggests many employees are willing to sacrifice their entitlement to benefits in exchange for a few extra pennies in their pocket. Align this with employees expectations of their sick pay entitlement, of the 1,095 employees polled only 36% expect to receive their full salary for at least a month should they be unable to work due to illness or injury. Interestingly a further third of those polled stated they would ‘survive’ less than a month on the weekly statutory sick pay of £79.15 per month.

Although employees are cashing in for a quick buck now what could be the long term consequences? Who will they turn to should they suffer illness or injury?

Looking at the bigger picture Unum’s research shows that almost half of all UK workers have been off work for more than a week due to accident or sickness at some point in their career, in addition roughly 2 million of those employed have had to take six months off or more.

Unum’s chief marketing officer, stated “We’re witnessing several concerning trends that would point to many employees currently taking a very short-term view of their financial situation. Although there’s no denying that a lot of people are struggling financially as a result of the recession, workers should only opt out of long-term financial benefits as a last resort.”

It is vital to educate employees of the value of these benefits, the cash in lieu they receive having opted out of any of their benefits would not come close to covering the cost of an equivalent personal plan.

If you have a group protection or health plan in place and are wanting to better communicate the scheme or simply review to ensure you are receiving the most competitive rates then give us a call. We are here to make insurance simple and affordable.