WS Atkins self insures group income protection

WS Atkins has promoted its new self-insured group income protection (GIP) benefit to staff.

To avoid paying market-rate premiums, the organisation has created its own policy and self-insured the benefit through a captive arrangement, at a cost of £2 million a year.

To deal with any clinical and occupational health issues, it has employed external provider Health Management.

Since GIP was introduced in April, information on the perk has been included as part of a benefits update provided to staff. Communication materials on the GIP and the rest employees’ total reward package have been sent to employees both at home and work, as well as posted on the intranet.

All of WS Atkin’s 12,000 employees are covered by the GIP, which will compensate staff if they are signed off work due to an illness of injury.

The perk offers greater protection to staff enrolled in the company’s trust-based defined contribution pension scheme, which opened after its defined benefit scheme closed to new entrants in 2001. Under the GIP all employee and employer pension contributions, which can amount to 15%, will be paid to staff after they reach retirement age.

Iain Willetts, head of reward at WS Atkins, said: “This is not about managing sickness and absenteeism, it’s about insuring we successfully meet our duty of care to our employees. We want our staff to receive the best support and to maximise the probability of a return to work through effective rehabilitation.”