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GROUP EMPLOYEE PROTECTION

What is Employee Protection?

People are living longer, and the working population is getting older with declining health1. This brings challenges for employers. Absent employees costs UK companies approximately £9 billion each year2 with employees taking on average 6.9 days sickness absence per annum3.

This is combined with continuing welfare reform, where more emphasis is being placed on employers to financially support their employees.

  • Prevent – Intervene - Protect
    We help employers to consider all options available, having identified their own challenges and preferences, to provide the best mix of services, and to ensure that prompt action is taken to support staff as quickly as possible.
  • Find the right balance
    Change your approach from the security of protection, to prevention, and you can better mitigate risk whilst reducing your direct and indirect costs.
  • Highly valued; low cost benefits
    Group protection cover not only can be cost-effective, but can also deliver valued benefits to your employees and their families at a time when they need it most.

How we can help

As every client is different, your wellbeing requirements will be too. Our specialist group protection team discuss and agree the most appropriate blend of products and services that provide the best fit for your objectives.

1. CIPD 2012
2. Office for National Statistics 2015
3. MetLife UK Employee Benefit Trends Survey 2017

Group protection solutions

We are able to consult on various types of group protection insurance and supportive solutions for your staff including:

  • Group Life Insurance (including Excepted Schemes where required),
  • Group Income Protection,
  • Group Critical Illness,
  • Early Intervention Services,
  • Value added benefits from insurers (such as Employee Assistance Programmes)
  • Occupational Health Support, and
  • Absence Management Support.

We are completely independent, and are able to use our buying power and close relationships with insurers to access market leading terms. Please ask us for more details.

Employee wellbeing management

Find the right balance between costs and risk management by employing a combination of prevention, intervention and protection solutions. We can help you understand the cost of absence to your business and focus on the right solutions that will meet your long term needs, where most value can be added.

All of which will help to deliver a happier, more engaged and productive workforce.

Maximise add-on services

Many policies offer additional features that may strengthen your employees’ health and wellbeing offering, so it is worthwhile understanding exactly what your policies will provide – we can help you with this. For example, they may provide you with early intervention support services to work with affected employees, to help secure an earlier return to work.

Communicate the benefits

Research suggests that only 39% of employees think their company effectively communicates and educates them about their benefits3. So, it’s vital that you get to grips with creating and implementing effective communication programmes. Jelf can help you to design a communication strategy to achieve this.

Frequently asked questions

Q
Why should we keep paying an income protection policy when we have seen no claims?
A
We are often posed this question by our clients, why keep paying for an income protection scheme for example, if we have not made a claim for a number of years. The first factor to consider is the size of the insured population. If you have a relatively low headcount, you would not be expecting to see a large claims volume, as typically we expect between 1 and 2 claims per 1,000 lives insured per year.

The other key element here is to understand and communicate the additional support and benefits that can be accessed by working closely with your selected providers. This may include additional benefit offerings such as employee assistance programmes, through to engaging with insurers on short term absences to gain their support and expertise in hopefully preventing any longer term issues. The ultimate aim of an income protection scheme for all parties concerned is to have as few absences as possible reach claim stage, and insurers have case studies and examples that we can bring to you, demonstrating the financial and practical impacts. Jelf will help you to structure your benefits programme to ensure you are able to gain access to the support needed.
Q
What scheme design is most common?
A
For the income protection scheme, the most common design still tends to be benefits payable at 2/3rds or 75% of salary, less a deduction for state benefits, with a 26 week wait before payments begin. These benefits are typically payable until the age set on the scheme.  We are working with our clients to challenge this “standard”, looking at options such as limited payment terms, and moving to a flat percentage of salary given welfare reform changes. For life insurance the most common level of cover remains at 4x salary, but again we will work with you to understand what would be valued by employees, and what may be needed in terms of benchmarking against your peers.
Q
How is welfare reform going to impact our benefits?
A
In short, the method by which an employee can access state incapacity support, and the duration over which any such benefit may be payable, is changing, shifting more responsbility on employers to support their employees. This means that if scheme benefit designs remain unaltered, the actual benefit payable to employees during long term absence is likely to reduce. 

Each insurer is taking a slightly different stance to how they allow for these changes in state benefits, and part of our role with our clients is to help you understand the options available, and any impact on premiums as a result.