After months of either being furloughed, working from home or carrying out their jobs in a totally different way, employees from organisations across every sector need to be supported by their employers. As a result, there has never been a more important time for employers to look at their duty of care to their employees as now.
With employee health and wellbeing in the headlines all the time at the moment (not always for the right reasons) due to the pressures employees are facing, Group Risk products, such as Group Income Protection, Group Critical Illness and Death In Service, have never held as much value.
As I highlighted in one of my recent posts, nearly a quarter of employers fail to provide support to staff with serious illnesses. That’s one of the findings from research by GRiD, the Group Risk sector industry body.
Furthermore, the GriD research also revealed a disconnect between what support employees think they’ll get if they are diagnosed with a serious illness and what support their employer actually offers. This means many employees are living with a false sense of security.
This last point is particularly concerning when you consider that serious illnesses aren’t uncommon in the UK. Indeed, the British Heart Foundation says around 7.4 million people in the UK are living with heart and circulatory disease. Meanwhile, 1.4 million people have survived a heart attack, while over 900,000 are living with heart failure.
As my colleague Matthew highlighted in this insightful post in November, Group Risk products provide benefits for both employees and employers alike.
When provided as part of a benefits package, Group Risk products provide employees with financial security and peace of mind that they might not otherwise be able to afford or access themselves. For example, Group Income Protection provides an employee with a continuous income if they are unable to work due to an illness, injury or disability. Group Critical Illness pays a tax-free lump sum to an employee if they are diagnosed with a critical illness. And Death In Service pays a tax-free lump sum upon an employee’s death.
For employers, group risk products help spread the risk and financial costs associated with death in service benefits, long-term sick pay and critical illness cover.
Historically, Group Risk policies have been offered as a staff benefit by employers to provide their employees with valuable protection if they are off sick. However, with the ongoing global pandemic, such products are more relevant than ever because the policies offer so much more than just protection. For example, most insurers offer rehabilitation services, access to remote GPs, remote mental health support and more. All these services are so important at the moment and will remain so even post-Covid.
As an employer, you have a duty of care towards your employees. Group Risk products can play a big part in helping you fulfill this obligation. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you figure out your options and secure the right policy for your and your employees’ needs.