The government has recognised the important role employers play in supporting the health and wellbeing of staff via employee benefits packages.
The comments came as the government published its response to the Health is Everyone’s Business consultation. It specifically recognised the importance oftgroup income protection, and the role it can play helping employees remain in, or return to work.
Group Risk Development spokesperson Katharine Moxham says: “Grid strongly supports the aims of reducing sickness absence and ill-health-related job loss and is pleased that the role of income protection insurance has been recognised in supporting this.
“The workplace has an important part to play in maintaining good health, dealing with ill health at an early stage and supporting employees to remain in work.
“We are particularly pleased to see that other services have now been included in the definition of occupational health.” She says this include the types of services provided under a GIP policy which can help achieve the same outcomes as traditional occupational health services. The response recognises, she says that traditional OH services are not the only solution available to employers.
She adds: “We look forward to working with government to take forward the consensus statement project — which aims to enhance employer guidance, improve employers’ awareness of the link between good work and good health, and promote the use of expert-led support services.”
Simon Hodgson, head of public policy at Unum, adds: “This endorsement of group income protection is brilliant news for the industry, and comes after years of dedicated hard work by providers and advisers.
I am thrilled to see ministers recognise the value our products already bring, and to see their commitment to improving employer awareness so that even more people can benefit.
“With this announcement, the government has recognised that GIP provides not just a financial benefit if an employee is unable to work due to illness or injury, but can help any employer – large or small – to promote good workplace health, and support employees back to work through high-quality vocational rehabilitation.”
He adds: “This endorsement is just the start – insurers, healthcare professionals, employers, and government will now all need to work together to raise awareness of the benefits of good workplace health, and ensure that Britain’s workers have the protection and support they need to thrive in good work.
“The need for continued joint working applies equally to reform of statutory sick pay which is still long-overdue. We call on the government to bring its plans forward urgently.”
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