Simplyhealth research: Tax breaks on PMI provision will ease burden on NHS

Over half (55%) of senior managers with HR responsibilities believe organisations should be given tax breaks to provide all staff with private medical insurance (PMI) and ease the burden on the NHS, according to research by Simplyhealth.

The research findings follow Dame Carol Black and David Frost’s review into sickness absence, which was published in November, that recommended that tax relief for lower earners be considered to help speed employees’ return to work.

Howard Hughes, head of business marketing for Simplyhealth, said: “Our research shows that 40% of organisations currently offer employees PMI, however 46% of these only provide it as a benefit to senior or middle management.

“According to the independent review into sickness absence, lower earners are at greater risk of long-term absence.

“With the NHS struggling to cope with restricted funding and with seemingly further cuts on the horizon, there is a real need for the government to encourage employers to take greater responsibility for employee health and wellbeing.

“Tax relief on healthcare benefits such as PMI is an effective way to help reduce the burden on the NHS and to help organisations to better manage sickness absence.

“Our findings confirm that there is appetite for a new approach to employee health and wellbeing. 52% of respondents whose businesses only offer private medical insurance to some employees stated that they would be more likely to provide a private medical insurance benefit to all employees if organisations received a tax break for those employees who are standard rate tax payers.”

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