Poll: 27% offer insurance benefits to support staff working with cancer


Employee Benefits poll: More than a quarter (27%) of Employee Benefits readers offer staff who are working with cancer insurance benefits, such as income protection or critical illness insurance.

A straw poll of www.employeebenefits.co.uk readers, which received 26 responses, also found that 23% of respondents support staff experiencing cancer by providing flexible or reduced working hours, while a further 23% offer remote or home working options.

Just under a fifth (19%) do not know what support measures they would implement to help employees working with a cancer diagnosis, compared to 8% who provide a counselling service or an employee assistance programme (EAP).

A survey of 300 UK employees who have been diagnosed with cancer in the last five years, published by insurance organisation Unum in August 2019, found that being offered reduced or flexible hours is one of the most valuable ways employers can help support individuals through treatment, with 42% of respondents agreeing with this.

Almost three in 10 (29%) employees diagnosed with cancer would value the opportunity to work from home in order to help them manage their diagnosis, while 27% believe that access to counselling or emotional support would be beneficial. More than half (52%) would value insurance cover to help with the potential loss of income from an inability to work, or to provide a lump sum financial benefit to aid with the cost of cancer.

Four in 10 (40%) respondents were unfamiliar, prior to their diagnosis, with the relevant resources provided by their employer; in addition, 28% say that they did not receive any support from their employer once diagnosed, or that the support they did receive was below their expectations.

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Half (52%) felt that they might have been able to return to work sooner had they received better support from their employer, while 84% believe that the level of support they received directly correlates to loyalty to the organisation.

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