Press release 6 May 2021.
According to research undertaken by GRiD ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May), of the four in five employees (79%) who currently have health and wellbeing concerns, stress and anxiety is the biggest issue for almost two thirds (62%):
Stress and anxiety:
- as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic (21%)
- related to work (12%)
- related to finances as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic (10%)
- related to home life (e.g. caring responsibilities, managing difficult relationships) (10%)
- related to finances more generally (e.g. debt) (8%)
The industry body for the group risk protection sector fears that some of these health and wellbeing worries may have been exacerbated due to the boundaries between work life and home life having become significantly blurred during the past year. Adding to this lack of delineation are the issues of presenteeism (working whilst sick) and leaveism (using non-paid hours and annual leave time to catch up on work) which are reportedly both on the rise and potentially adding to employees’ stress and anxiety levels.
Stress and anxiety issues were not the only main worry for employees: a general lack of fitness (e.g. due to non-active lifestyle/sedentary working) was the primary concern for 14%, and a further 10% of employees also reported that sleeping problems were their main concern.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: “Stress and anxiety can seriously hinder our ability to function in everyday situations let alone in a demanding and often pressurised work environment.
“When employees work from home, it’s easy for them to switch on a laptop to ‘stay on top of their inbox’ or ‘get ahead for the next day’ but, because there are only so many hours in the day, the time for family, home admin/chores, relaxation activities or sleep are reduced as a result. This can cause stress and anxiety in other areas of their lives. Similarly, being ill previously meant resting at home but employees now have the ability to log on from their sick bed, despite whether that is good for their health or not.”
GRiD warns that employers need to be aware that these feeling of stress and anxiety among staff are widespread which may impact on their employees’ ability to complete work effectively and could potentially lead to more serious mental health issues in the future.
Employers need to support employees across a number of areas including medical, legal, financial, wellness, relationship, child and eldercare issues. There are a number of employee benefits, such as employer-sponsored income protection, life assurance and critical illness that not only support staff during the most challenging times in their lives but that also offer intervention programmes designed to assist employees in resolving day-to-day personal problems.
Katharine Moxham concluded: “Health and wellbeing concerns often start as minor issues that, if left unchecked, become bigger burdens. Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant that many employees’ lives are more complex and they have much more on their plate from both a personal and professional point of view. By using the support embedded in to employee benefits, employees will be able to help resolve their concerns efficiently because they’re being guided by experts in their field.”
- Ends -
Notes to editors:
*The research was undertaken by Opinium during January 2021 among 1,216 UK employees.
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 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, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (head of technical, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing) 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