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How would the absence of an employee affect the running of your business?

According to research*, 43% of businesses had experienced absence of an employee for at least four weeks due to ill-health over the last two years, they cited this impacted the morale of other workers, as well as causing financial and reputational issues.

How would the absence of an employee affect the running of your business? Is this something you consider or plan for, or do you just hope it won’t happen? Are there employees whose personal struggles may be affecting their work and therefore your productivity? Not all struggles are visible.

There are ways you can support your staff, you may already have a Group Protection policy for your employees, which typically has a free add on policy called an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This offers both telephone and face to face counselling support for employees, speak to your Financial Adviser about how this policy can be promoted to employees. Some EAP’s offer Virtual GP appointments, this is where an employee has access to a GP via a Facetime appointment, the employee doesn’t even have to take time off work, just have access to a laptop. Employees and their families can access medical second opinions, physiotherapy and mental health support via an app.

EAP’s also support businesses, with helplines and legal support, this could be the reassurance you need. EAP’s can also be purchased as stand-alone policies.

Group Income Protection policies with insurers support employees by paying a replacement salary if unable to work due to illness or injury, but the provider also works to rehabilitate the employee, even supporting the individual and employer from the start of absence, with a view to getting the employee back to work as soon as possible.

Health Assessments can be offered to employees, whereby they go annually or every two years to have health check-ups, the checks are tailored to the employee’s age and gender. This can be a great reassurance to individuals and a welcome benefit.
Further policies are Cash Plans, which offer reimbursement for many medical procedures and pay-outs for bodily harm and Group Private Medical plans, which support employees with acute conditions, the main benefit of which is how quickly someone can be seen and therefore recovery can commence.

The cost of implementing support for staff now; may save you dividends going forward. For a small business, the absence of an employee or employees could cost your business, who would pick up the work of the absent employee, is it fair to expect other staff to do the work of another, would you have time to do the extra work?

However, it is only valuable to have benefits for employees if the employees know they exist and know they have access to confidential help. So, promote the benefits, help your employees to access help. Sometimes issues become bigger because they are left without being addressed. Your employees will benefit knowing they have somewhere to go for help.

For more information please contact our Independent Financial Adviser Liz Barker on 01473 552930


*Sources available upon request.