Thursday, March 29, 2012

Business Incentives to Help Conquer Sick Days

Many businesses large and small have now taken action to prevent their employees from going off unwell and eating into company margins whilst doing so.  Sick days are currently costing UK businesses and the economy £13 billion per year and more and more employers have been introducing incentives such as gym memberships, employee assistance programmes and personal medical insurance programmes to stem the amount of sick days being taken across the country.  We have put together a quick overview of what’s on offer with some employers and how they look to have a positive impact.

Many employers have, for a while now, have been offering private medical insurance as an incentive or a tool in which to manage their employee’s health.  There are many variations in which PMI is offered and lots of different levels of coverage ranging from those who have their own businesses who would opt for a self employed healthinsurance to grander schemes for larger companies such as group health insurance.  The idea behind these plans was to improve employee’s healthcare and have them back to work quicker as PMi’s  provide quicker, more efficient treatments and well as the flexibility to choose when treatments are undertaken.

An incentive lots of businesses are using is the provision of gym memberships at a discount rate and offering partnership schemes with gyms such as Pure Gym or Virgin Health clubs.  Many may even have the set up in their buildings to provide a work out area for those before and after work.  Employers see this as a wise investment because if their workforce is fitter then that can see off infections and colds that someone who is possibly less fit would be more susceptible to, thus less work days off.

What is becoming more and more common is the introduction of employee assistance programmes (EAP’s) where identifying staff who maybe suffering from work related issues such as stress or may have external pressures in their personal lives.   An EAP will provide help and advice 24 hours a day and can also involve face to face counselling to support an employee’s state of well being.  This can also be linked to limiting their exposure with the long term costs associated with stress and would incur extra premiums with a PMI supplier, income protection and critical illness. 

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