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Nov 6 2015
Are you managing your short-term sickness absence?

Posted by Ian Johnston

Construction accidentSickness absence is a huge cost to UK businesses

From the biggest corporation to the smallest family firm, accident or illness has a considerable effect on businesses.

Even temporary disabilities have a significant influence on the workplace. As well as the impact on productivity and colleagues, managing sickness absence can be an administrative headache, while the volatile costs involved are hard to manage.

Short-term sickness absence in the UK costs businesses on average, £600 per employee each year, with 30% of companies admitting that they can absorb the cost of sickness absence for just 1 week.

Nearly 17% of employees remain off work between 8 days to 4 weeks in companies with up to 5,000 employees

Businesses see the impact in both direct costs – employees’ salary, overtime, statutory sick pay and occupational sick pay, as well as indirect costs – loss of output and productivity, and time in administration and management.

The burden of sickness administration frequently falls to already busy line managers, impacting highly on their other duties. Time pressures can mean absence is over looked and not recorded consistently. HR departments can then find it difficult to support and flag issues, while inconsistencies in the way sickness is managed, assessed and paid can lead to legally justifiable complaints.

Why Sick Pay Insurance provides more than a replacement salary

Sick Pay insurance is Unum’s answer to the problems of short term sickness absence with benefit available after 1 week of absence.

It covers the cost of short-term absence. It supplements Statutory Sick Pay and replaces Occupational arrangements, and helps makes sickness absence manageable:

  • Stable costs – it allows for predictable monthly costs through a set budget Professional claims management – relieving managers from the burden of administration, it helps ensure consistent third party validation of absence, with access to expert resources
  • Duty of Care – helps ensure employers are meeting their duty of care obligations
  • Absence management support – helps identify issues quickly, areas of risks and suggesting improvements

Added business benefit

Plus, every Sick Pay Insurance policy comes with Employer and Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP), free of charge, offering support on a range of topics from day one.

Unum’s Employer Assistance Programme,  LifeWorks Legal, provides businesses with free access to legal expertise on the minefield of business law and the opportunity to download a range of legal documents, saving money and time.

For employees and their families,  Unum’s LifeWorks EAP offers practical and confidential information and support on a number of lifestyle issues, including stress, relationships, family life, work and money. It can also help tackle potential problems before they become an absence. It provides:

  •  Employee helpline – information and advice on work and life matters Online services – information sheets, down load booklets, and health encyclopaedia
  •  Publications – Hard copy of booklets and CDs Telephone/face-to-face counselling – up to three sessions per issue Childcare search – help in finding child care services in an area

Sick Pay Insurance makes perfect sense in tough economic times. Kicking in within the first 4 weeks of absence, with a range of benefit payments from 12 to 52 weeks, benefit payments can be chosen to complement existing arrangements.

Simply, it can help companies:

  • Track absence flag non-work causes of claim
  • Spot issues and trends in absence
  • Plan for an expected length of absence

Talk to us today if you would like more information on how Sick Pay Insurance can support your business needs.


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