The role of insured benefits in wellbeing programmes

How to anchor a wellbeing strategy with meaningful benefits programme

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Cherry Reynard
Published: 14 Jul 2017 Updated: 13 Jun 2022

Wellbeing: the term means different things to different people. It can be difficult to define and harder still to justify a business case. Is it a state of mind, good health, stable finances or overall happiness? There is one consensus - there is no single meaning.

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Irrespective of how it may be defined, wellbeing at work has risen up the corporate agenda and is now a key focus for businesses of all sizes across the UK. If your workforce is present, healthy and happy then that must be a good thing for all concerned. While the vast majority of decision makers will agree that

staff wellbeing is critical to the overall success of their business, what is not so common is to have a robust wellbeing strategy in place. With establishing return on investment, lack of senior management commitment and lack of time coming out on top as the key barriers to building a wellbeing strategy; it has become clear that there is still much work to do to raise engagement in this space along with strategies and implementations.

By not protecting the health of your employees in the workplace, you may be placing your organisation at undue risk. Poor health at work not only affects the individual’s ability to successfully do their job, but will also affect business productivity, performance and effectiveness. But what are the practicalities of delivering a strategy that embraces employee wellbeing and engagement? Implementation can be daunting, particularly for large, multi-site organisations.

The extent to which different companies ‘do’ employee wellbeing varies dramatically. What is important is that you are thinking about employee health and wellbeing and recognise the role wellness can play among your workforce. The bottom line is that a focus on wellbeing drives staff performance.

While fresh fruit, flexible working and table football may be well received, insured benefit arrangements often form the cornerstone of a holistic wellbeing strategy.

Group income protection is an excellent example. Available for as little as 0.25% of payroll, a well- structured scheme can provide a financial benefit and rehabilitation support if an employee is unable to work because of term illness or injury. It can be used by employers to help manage sickness and associated costs. Rehabilitation support can help employees get back to health and work – reducing the length of sickness absence and the overall impact on your organisation. Provision of this benefit for your employees, can provide them with reassurance and peace of mind.

An Employee Assistance Programme is generally a complimentary ‘extra’ to Group Income Protection which provides both telephone and face to face counselling.

One of the most highly valued employee benefits is Private Medical Insurance – recent innovations now allow direct access to support and treatment without the need for GP referrals for certain conditions. With ill-health now costing the UK economy £100bn a year, the desire for businesses to extend health and wellbeing benefits across their entire workforce has never been stronger.

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing.


This article was previously published on Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.