20% of employers offer no support for ill staff

New research has revealed that one in five employers do not offer any form of support for newly injured, ill or disabled staff.

Research undertaken on behalf of Group Risk Development (Grid), the industry body for the group risk protection sector found that of the four in five who do offer support for this group, on average only three types of support for staff in this position are facilitated. According to the industry body, a much broader range is required to help employees either stay in or return to work.

From a range of 17 different types of typically provided support from businesses, phased return-to-work plans were most commonly offered to staff for new injuries, illness or disability, with 33% of employers providing this. Just over a quarter (26%) offer emotional support such as counselling for the same purpose, and one-fifth (20%) said mental health first aiders support is in place for staff in this group.

The types of support that are least prevalent in organisations are offering access to medical concierge (9%), medical specialists such as oncologists (9%) and nurse-led support services (7%).

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Grid, commented that many employers may have a greater arsenal of support available for this group of employees than they realise due to the wide and ever-growing range of choice within mainstream employee benefits, but should take cost into consideration when purchasing employee benefits.

“By understanding the depth and breadth of that support, they’ll also be able to determine the inherent value too. Employers would be wise to lean on their employee benefits consultants for advice in understanding exactly what they have in place across multiple benefits to support those employees who are suddenly in ill health,” she said.