Absence in the workplace is quite frankly a pain. Statistically* there were 131m days lost to sickness absence in 2013, with absence costing £4.17bn to businesses each year. So for a typical business of more than 500 employees that is over £770k.
 
Early Intervention Services (EIS), which have become common place over the last few years as part of Group Income Protection policies, if used effectively can really have a positive impact, and really make some progress towards reducing workplace absence. Statistically* an effective EIS can reduce absenteeism by 17%, which to any business is significant and surely warrants more attention and ultimately investment.
 
Now it's one thing to have access to such services, but to get a positive impact on absence and really start to make a difference, the key is communication.  
 
For Stackhouse Poland there are three key services that have brilliant results when used:
 
  1. Employee Assistance Programme (EAP's) offer a 24/7 telephone helpline for individuals to use for a wide variety of concerns. From legal matters, to financial worries, to relationship issues, a specialist consultant is on hand to talk things through, whenever needed. This can then extend to face to face counselling where required.
  2. Rehabilitation Services where skilled individuals at the insurer, or third party provider, are on hand to provide specialist advice and feedback direct to the employee/er. They will then focus on helping them not only during absence, but also as they attempt to get back to work. 

    Rehabilitation consultants, with consent of the individual, ultimately work with the absent employee to fully understand the challenges they face in the first instance. Then, using their experience guide the individual through their journey back to work. When the time comes they will even work with the employer to ensure a safe return to work programme is implemented, so that all the hard work building up to that point isn't undone.

  3. A Healthcare Cash Plan is one of those products that does a little a bit of everything. Whether its access to dental or optical treatment, a requirement for some physiotherapy or discounted gym memberships...a Healthcare Cash Plan is a great low cost option. 

    Simply put they offer cash back (which can be processed using a mobile phone app) against regular everyday health claims, without the need to go and see your GP first (like with a full private healthcare policy). These plans can save time on individuals accessing treatment, or even encourage individuals to get the treatment that without the insurance they wouldn't have got - which could prevent longer term issues in itself.

Don't wait for someone to go off on sick leave and the impact on the business finances and team moral, before attempting to resolve the matter. Plan ahead, know your costs upfront and be aware of and utilise each service in order to maximise the value of your benefit spend!
 
*According to a study from the Centre for Ergonomics and Business Research (Cebr)
 

Steve Thomson

Business Development Manager

Health & Protection

t: 01438 730 283

m: 07884 664 312