Aviva introduces cancer support service for 16,000 UK staff


Insurance organisation Aviva has introduced a cancer support service for its 16,000 UK based employees.

The benefit, provided by RedArc, was launched in September 2017 as part of the organisation’s wider health and wellbeing strategy. It has been implemented in order to provide emotional support to employees that have been diagnosed with cancer, and are either undergoing treatment or tackling the recovery process.

Employees who have been diagnosed with cancer will have access to a nurse advisor, who will be able to provide long-term practical advice as well as emotional support. The nurse advisor can help employees suffering with cancer to understand the disease and its impacts, what to expect during the treatment process, how to come to terms with a cancer diagnosis, and how employees can best approach recovery from surgery or other treatments. The nurse advisor will also be able to discuss the emotional and physical aspects of a cancer diagnosis, for both employees and their families, as well as offer coping strategies to help staff members.

The nurse advisor can also provide a clinically assessed course of therapy or counselling, as well as signpost staff to relevant information, services and equipment that may be useful to them.

The benefit was communicated to staff using a news story on the staff intranet, which included a case study example of an employee who had been diagnosed with cancer. It was also promoted in a weekly round-up email to all employees, and information about the support service was placed on the wellbeing page of Aviva’s intranet.

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Cancer support will form part of Aviva’s existing health and wellbeing strategy, which includes sick pay at full salary for 12 months for each illness, group income protection, death in service at eight times basic salary, a year’s free access to the Headspace app, and access to Aviva’s in-house wellbeing app that provides personalised information to help staff manage their own health and wellbeing.

Ally Antell (pictured), UK health and protection product innovation lead at Aviva, said: “Cancer will affect one in two people born in the UK. Unfortunately that means that a number of our employees are likely to be impacted by cancer at some point in their lives. We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to our people but not only providing financial support, but also offering the emotional support they may need following a cancer diagnosis, during treatment and recovery.”