Aviva research: A third of employees would struggle financially if off work with illness for a month

Almost a third (30%) of UK employees could survive financially for less than one month if they were receiving statutory sick pay when off work ill, according to research by Aviva.†

The survey of 1,000 employees and 500 employers found that just over half (52%) could survive for three months, while 9% would remain financially stable for a year or more.

Additional findings include:

  • 19% of employees know how much statutory sick pay they would be entitled to, 26% think they would receive considerably more, and 16% believe they would be entitled to over twice as much.
  • 65% of employees cite financial concerns as the main reason to get back to work quickly if they are off sick, while 28% cite regaining a sense of purpose, 21% cite getting well, and 16% cite providing for their families.
  • 80% of respondents think it is unlikely that they would actually have to deal with long-term sickness.
  • 44% fear that going back to work could cause a relapse of their condition and 24% worry that they will not be able to work to full capacity.
  • 47% of employees said that their fears would be allayed if they knew that the proper support was available and 24% said they would be happier if they knew that their employer would work with them to ease their return to work.
  • 15% would like flexible working hours.
  • Among employers, 25% agreed that the rehabilitation process is vital, but only 10% said they would consider how they could adapt the responsibilities of the worker to aid their return to work.

Steve Bridger, head of group risk at Aviva UK Health, said: “It is understandable that over 80% of people think long-term sickness is something that happens to other people.

“However in reality you never know what is around the corner and few people have the savings available to support themselves and their families for very long.

“The good news is that group income protection can help employers address many of the issues identified in our research, and provide peace of mind to individuals who have enough to deal with when they are on the receiving end of unwelcome health news.”

Read more articles on long-term sickness absence