Skip to main content Site map

Blog

Has COVID-19 improved employees’ perceived value of health insurance – and how can this help with recruitment and retention?

Posted on: Wednesday February 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many workers to wonder if their company is doing enough to safeguard their health. Some measures aim to prevent people getting ill in the first place e.g. masks and hand sanitiser, as well as employee wellbeing initiatives to improve overall resilience. Other measures focus on support if staff do fall ill, like medical insurance or access to online GP services.

However, some companies face a dilemma: they want to keep workers safe and productive, but a limited benefits budget means they are unable to provide cover for ill health. For these employers, the best solution may be to partner with an insurer who can provide workers with easy access to cost-effective, individual policies. Employees too value the chance to safeguard themselves from the impact of ill health on their earnings.

Protecting our policyholders

In the last twelve months Personal Group has seen sustained interest in our protection plans. Workers are very aware of COVID-19 and the impact on their household finances if they were forced to spend long periods in hospital or convalescing. Another tragic impact of COVID-19 is the increase in deaths among people of working age who would normally expect to live for many more years.

Furthermore, many of our policyholders are key workers who don’t have the option to work from home and may need to commute via public transport; and are therefore at greater risk of exposure to the virus. In these circumstances, workers see the financial value of protection for themselves and their families, as well as providing peace of mind in uncertain times.

The impact on recruitment and retention  

From a health and safety perspective, staff require COVID-safe working conditions and may look elsewhere for a job if they feel their employer is prioritising profit at the expense of their safety. However, we’ve also seen increased expectations around employee wellbeing in general. A Willis Towers Watson survey found that two-fifths (42%) of companies have made or are planning to make changes to their employee benefit programmes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on working life.

The conversation on employee wellbeing has shifted from a ‘nice-to-have’ model to become an essential part of any employee offer. As well as benefits to help staff maintain their health like OnDemand GP and Employee Assistance Programmes, many employers now offer preventive wellbeing measures that place emphasis on exercise, sleep, healthy food and stress reduction, which have a significant impact on preventing underlying conditions.

Organisations are increasingly recognising that the benefits of wellbeing provisions may extend beyond simple return on investment. Costs linked to absenteeism, presenteeism and employee turnover are areas of legitimate business concern, but it’s also worth considering the less tangible benefits. By demonstrating that you care about workers’ health, especially outside work hours, you become more attractive as an employer to those looking for new opportunities and increase engagement among existing employees. 

Even before the pandemic, workers needed support to help protect their health. In the current climate, employers should think about their current provision and if it can be optimised to support a resilient and productive workforce.

Learn more about protecting your workforce with Personal Group’s affordable insurance or contact us to find out more.

Back

Student loan repayments – what’s the impact on your workforce and what can employers do to support those impacted by the cost of attending university? Student loan repayments – what’s the impact on your workforce and what can employers do to support those impacted by the cost of attending university?
Student loan repayments – what’s the impact on your workforce and what can employers do to support those impacted by the cost of attending university?

We spoke with two of our HR experts at opposite ends of the generational spectrum: Innecto Reward Consultant Spencer Hughes, 27, who graduated from Swansea University in 2018 with a degree in Geography and Geoinformatics, and PG Business Development Director Andrew Walker, 59, who studied Modern Languages and linguistics at Aston University before student loans were introduced.

Posted on: 16 May 2024 by Andrew Walker, New Business Development Director, Spencer Hughes, Reward Consultant

Gearing up to combat the working-age health crisis

A recent BBC article entitled Why are we so ill? The working age health crisis, warns about the number of people being driven out of jobs because of ill health and refers to ‘one-fifth’ of the UK’s working age population living with a 'work-limiting condition'. This is a growing and serious issue that companies need to address to better understand and manage. 

Posted on: 3 May 2024 by Sarah Lardner, Director of Business Innovation

Seven ways to ensure your benefits technology is accessible to deskless workers

Our army of deskless workers need easy access to the benefits and products that matter to them the most. A drive for relevance, personalisation and speed should be at the heart of every effort we make to support them.

Posted on: 16 April 2024 by Andrew Walker, New Business Development Director

Speak to our experts about how Hapi can help drive employee value for your business.