Of the four pillars of employee health and wellbeing support – namely financial, physical, mental and social – employees consider financial support for the worst case scenario to be the most important when deciding which company to work for, according to new research from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector.
What employees say
- Financial support if employees are unable to work long-term through ill-health, disability or injury, and financial support for their dependants if they were to die, was considered important to 76% of employees.
- Support for physical health and wellbeing, such as access to non-NHS GPs, medical treatment, physio and rehabilitation services, was next most important with 64% of employees agreeing.
- Support for mental health and wellbeing, such as access to mental health first aiders and counselling, was considered an important factor in determining where to work by 63% of employees.
- Support for social wellbeing, such as team events and celebrations, was the least important (48%) of the four pillars when employees are considering which company to work for.
Group risk benefits – the collective term for employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness – give employees and their families access to financial protection should the worst happen. These benefits also often provide additional support, in areas such as prevention and rehabilitation. By helping employees make a successful return to work, employees will return to receiving their full income and maximise future earnings potential.
Employers may also find their group risk policy gives their employees extra financial benefits such as financial education and wellbeing tools, a debt consolidation service, discount vouchers or a pay advance scheme.
With financial issues being at the forefront of employees’ minds at present, it’s clear that employers who are currently recruiting or trying to retain staff may find it advantageous to offer this type of financial support to their employees. Employers who do not offer any such support will find themselves on the backfoot compared to those who do, as employees are fairly explicit that given the cost-of-living crisis and inflationary pressures, financial support is the area that they currently value the most.
Those who do already offer this type of financial support may find it advantageous to improve their efforts to communicate that support to ensure employees are aware of its availability and how to access it.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “It’s natural for employees with dependants to be concerned about how their loved ones would cope financially should they become incapacitated through illness or injury or were to pass away. However, the cost-of-living crisis gives an added dimension to this apprehension with everything, from mortgage payments to food costs on the rise. Organisations that offer employee benefits such as group risk can give their employees real peace of mind that should the worst happen, their employer has taken steps to provide for them and their family.”