Staff feel disconnected from group protection

Research by Legal and General has found significant levels of employee disconnect with group protection, with only 16% of those polled believing employee assistance programme (EAPs) are very relevant to their health needs.

Data – compiled after polling more than 1,000 UK workers with access to income protection, critical illness cover or EAPs – also revealed that a quarter of staff did not believe income protection was relevant. It further found 30% thought critical illness cover was ‘not relevant’ compared to 23% who said it was ‘very relevant’.

Only half of respondents believed EAPs were ‘fairly relevant’ and only 43% said income protection was very relevant to their, or their family’s, health, wealth and happiness.

Commenting on the figures Colin Fitzgerald, distribution director, group protection, Legal and General said: “On the one hand, the findings are good news because they indicate employees recognise the value of group protection – to a certain extent at least.”

He added: “On the other hand however, they also suggest that benefits on the whole still aren’t being connected in employees’ minds to the wellbeing agenda and what their employer is providing to help them be well and, when needed, get better.”

The results come as PricewaterhouseCooper data shows nine in 10 chief executives believe wellbeing initiatives are key to driving long-term changes to their business models.

Fitzgerald said: “The trouble is, in the majority of workplaces, benefits are still considered on a product basis – as an insurance solution when things go wrong. We all need to work together as an industry to help employers better integrate benefit and wellbeing agendas, with an emphasis on prevention.”

The study found that just 32% claimed income protection was ‘fairly relevant’ and only 47% said critical illness cover was fairly relevant.