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Culture of caring

March 2021

by Alan Makinson

Creating a culture of caring with employee benefits

You’ll hear this philosophy, the way a business treats its people, referred to by many names. The culture of caring is a practice that can make and retain happy employees and customers. Being able to support your employees at difficult and stressful times is pertinent to this.

Financial wellbeing

Suffering from an illness, disability or disease can be difficult enough but if on top of the mental stress there is also a financial burden of having to keep up with bills and other expenses, this can make these difficult times even harder.

A lot of people may not be in a position to comfortably afford their outgoings if they are not earning. Critical illness insurance cover for example can provide financial protection with a lump sum payout if they are diagnosed with a serious condition or illness. This could provide a sense of relief for policyholders who feel assured that their mortgage and other bills can be covered if they are no longer in a position to work.

Improving employee wellbeing has a number of business benefits, other than being conducive to economic growth. A great benefit offering for employees can be a key differentiator, which is important considering the current labour shortages UK businesses are facing [1].

“A happy and healthy employee is more likely to be a productive one” is a wisdom that is finally catching on with employees and businesses. In fact, they are 13% more productive according to research conducted by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School [2].

Financial benefits such as the ones mentioned below can be funded by a monthly premium – paid for by either the employer or the employee. This is an effective way for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to provide the support that can provide peace of mind from a financial perspective and in turn help to alleviate stress.

Examples of employee benefits that may provide financial protection
Critical Illness Cover

Pay a tax-free lump sum on diagnosis of a critical illness. Commonly covered conditions include cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and kidney failure. This is usually a multiple of salary but can be a fixed amount.

Life Assurance

Group Life Assurance (also called Death in Service) is low cost and one of the most popular and commonly provided benefits. It pays a tax-free lump sum if an employee dies, to provide support for the people who depend on them financially. The lump sum is normally based on a multiple of the employee’s salary.

Income Protection

Employees are much more likely to suffer an illness whilst at work than die. Income Protection provides an income to an employee when they are unable to work as a result of an illness or injury and usually pays out until retirement, death or until the employee returns to work.

Providing such benefits can give your employees and their family the financial stability they need to help them cope with the money worries that illness and death can bring. Many also include practical and emotional support, which could be invaluable in times of need.

98% of employers think it is important to increase their understanding and engagement with benefits and/or wellbeing [3]. If like many companies you are reviewing your benefits package following the issues Covid-19 has highlighted on how you can better support your employees, please get in touch for a free initial consultation.

 


Date sources:
[1] https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/making-group-income-protection-work-harder-for-employee-health-and-wellbeing/
[2] https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2019-10-24-happy-workers-are-13-more-productive
[3] Aon 2021 UK Benefits and Trends Survey

 

Personal circumstances differ and not all of this information is applicable to every client and/or their business, this information is general in nature and should not be relied upon without seeking specific professional financial advice.
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