Press release 2 April 2020.
Benefits that provide financial and emotional support to employees when the worst happens are coming into their own right now.
With the new government directive to work from home where possible, and many employers looking at how to retain staff under new circumstances - such as with reduced hours or on furloughed pay - employers have a lot to consider in terms of managing their business and staff.
Some employee benefits are designed to provide financial and emotional support for staff who are absent through ill-health, or to dependants of employees that die, such as group risk benefits (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness). Indeed, nearly 2.5 million* employees in the UK are covered by schemes that will provide financial support if they’re unable to work through illness, and over 9.5 million* employees are covered by schemes that will pay out a lump sum to their dependants if they die while employed.
It’s easy to overlook the value of such benefits during times of normal working practice. However, during the current Covid-19 pandemic, many employers are now looking at the detail of such schemes to ensure they’re getting support for their staff and their business.
Mental health, serious illness and death
Many employees are dealing with stress and anxiety as a result of Covid-19. For some this will escalate and result in a need for professional help or prolonged time off work. Support can be found within group risk benefits which can offer fast-track access to professional mental-health support, or financial support for those unable to work.
The majority of people who have Covid-19 will recover. Sadly, others won’t survive, and if they have group life assurance their dependants will receive financial support.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, the group risk industry body said, ‘Emotional and financial support is needed on an unprecedented scale right now, and it will be group risk benefits that employers will look to to provide it.
‘I’m very proud of how our industry steps up to the mark during times of need. Each employer’s arrangements will be specific to them, so it’s important they understand what’s covered within their own schemes, to make sure they’re getting all the support available for those dealing with the effects of Covid-19. If they haven’t already engaged with their advisers, now is the time.’
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*Swiss Re Group Watch 2019
For further information please contact:
SMUK Marketing and PR
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508
Notes for editors
Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk protection sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their wellbeing and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries who have a collective wealth of experience built over years of operating in the group risk protection market. Under the chairmanship of Steve Bridger (MD Group Protection, Corporate, Aviva UK Insurance) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.
GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.
GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.
Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham