Tax incentives could control sickness absence

The majority (90%) of employer respondents would like to see tax incentives introduced for all forms of healthcare-related employee benefits, according to research by Jelf Employee Benefits.

The research aimed to identify the right benefits for such tax incentives by asking employers which healthcare-related benefits would most assist organisations in managing sickness absence.

Just 5% of respondents believe rehabilitation services are the most important benefit in managing sickness absence, while 10% said health cash plans, 12% employee assistance programmes, and 31% said both occupational health and healthcare policies are necessary.

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Jelf Employee Benefits, said: “Rehabilitation will always have an important role to play in addressing sickness absence, however, employers are clearly saying they would like to see tax incentives across the board.

“If this is not possible at this time, it would be sensible to target any reliefs on the areas that employers feel will best help them control sickness absence. We urge the government to listen to what employers say they actually need.”