Press release 15 March 2023
Commenting on the Health and Disability white paper launched alongside today’s Spring Budget, Katharine Moxham, Spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD) said:
“It’s really encouraging to see government acknowledging the human wastage that long-term sickness absence from the workplace can bring and announcing positive steps to de-risk the journey back into work. It needs to go much further, however, in addressing how people fall out of work in the first place, as well as how to encourage them back.
“We must deal with the question of how people end up being economically inactive in the first place. In many cases, employees wouldn’t leave work if they were better supported by their employer. The support is available for companies to offer: they will find help within their benefits package – via their, private medical, occupational health or other benefits. For example, as well as meeting the costs of long-term sick pay, a group income protection policy will include access to help from vocational rehabilitation experts, and access to advice and support with both short- and long-term health conditions and making reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. An insurer might even help with the extra costs of keeping someone in work - such as providing or modifying equipment - on an ex-gratia basis.
“So, it’s time for government to be proactive and encourage more employers to move towards providing a better level of long-term sick pay and support during absence. This will mitigate the number of absences, and get people back to work. Group income protection providers can help deliver that outcome for employers and employees alike, whilst saving the state considerable effort and cost.
“The group risk industry has long understood that, as well as providing financial independence, work plays a vital role in promoting mental wellbeing, building self-esteem and identity, and providing fulfilment and opportunities for social interaction. It’s not surprising that government is refocusing the welfare safety net to encourage those who are economically inactive to move back into work, but it needs to do more.”
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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