One-fifth of staff have no financial protection if they cannot work

One fifth (21%) of UK employees have no financial back-up plan in place in the event that something unpredictable happens, according to new research from Unum.

The research shows that almost half of UK workers have been off work for more than a week due to illness or injury at some point in their career and approximately two million current employees have had to take off six months or more. On average, UK workers could survive for just four weeks without receiving full pay.

However, 1 in 10 of those who have been off work sick for over a week did not receive full pay for any part of their absence.

On a regional basis, the research reveals employees in Wales and the North East are potentially the most exposed with 32% and 24%, respectively, admitting to having no financial security net should they be unable to work.

Those in the South East and Scotland seem the best prepared, with only 17% and 16% of employees, respectively, having no back-up plan.

Marco Forato, chief marketing officer at Unum, said: “It is really quite concerning to see that so many people are living on a knife edge when it comes to financial protection.†

“Our research shows too many people seem to be either unaware that they can take steps to protect themselves against an unpredictable event that can lead to the loss of their full income for a long period of time or are burying their heads in the sand and adopting an attitude of ‘it will not happen to me’.

“Employers can, and should, play an important role in providing access to financial protection through the workplace, however only one in 10 British workers have some form of cover in place to protect them if they could not work.

“In the economic climate, companies are looking for improved performance and we know there is a proven link between creating a good working environment and business success. Good companies know that engaging with employees to provide access to financial protection both benefits their business and safeguards their employees.”

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