New survey highlights lack of potential preventative measures taken by companies.
Twenty-one per cent of employers, or one in five, don’t support the prevention of ill-health in their staff, according to research undertaken on behalf of Group Risk Development (GRiD), the industry body for the group risk protection sector.
Just over 500 employers responded to the poll, which was carried out earlier this year. Those who do provide health and wellbeing support to help prevent employees becoming ill said they find flexible working initiative, emotional support such as counselling and initiatives to help manage stress and mental health the most helpful.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “When employers offer employee benefits that have preventative support built in, they’re demonstrating that they care about their staff’s long-term health and wellbeing. It also means that their employees will have the best chance of being able to access whatever new supportive developments arise in the future.”
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. The organisation 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.
Ten years ago, it was only some of the very large corporates who were able to offer their staff access to a GP, either in person or over the phone. Today, arranging a virtual GP appointment is not out of the ordinary – it’s included within many benefits, and is an important element of early intervention and prevention. But offering fast-track treatment is just one aspect of looking after staff, with GRiD arguing the best support needs to start before treatment is needed, which can possibly mean no treatment – or absence from work – will have to take place.
“Employers who do not offer a comprehensive range of preventative support, should really be asking themselves why not, as they are now very much in the minority and may struggle to compete on the recruitment front with others that take a much more comprehensive approach to ill-health prevention in their companies,” said Moxham.