COVID19 Highlights the Importance of Quality Employee Benefits Schemes

Wednesday 20th May 2020

COVID19 Highlights the Importance of Quality Employee Benefits Schemes

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Article By Jan Bailey

COVID19 Highlights the Importance of Quality Employee Benefits Schemes

This is a promotional article by Brunsdon Financial.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way businesses operate - perhaps for good. Many of us are now working from home and routinely using technology such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom to keep in touch both with clients and colleagues. It’s not the same as meeting face-to-face, but works well given the peculiar circumstances in which we find ourselves. Some of these new ways of working may even be continued into the future, after the lockdown.

One positive result of our contact with clients throughout the pandemic has been their increased appreciation of the value of a quality Employee Benefits offer, in particular the availability of Group Risk products, such as Income Protection, Life and Critical Illness cover. Also of great value have been Employee Assistance Programmes, whereby employees can access confidential telephone or video advice on a range of issues that could be affecting their mental and physical wellbeing.

As you will know, Coronavirus is a potentially life-threatening condition. Thankfully, for the vast majority of us it will be experienced as a mild-moderate illness from which we will fully recover. However, for some it will be more serious and can be deadly. This has sadly been the case so far for more than 30,000 people in the UK who have lost their lives to the illness.

Should you be in the dreadful situation of losing a member of your team to the disease, you might expect death benefits under your group life policy to be paid. However, please be aware that benefit may not be payable if your staff member has travelled against Foreign Office advice.

For a claim against a group income protection plan to be valid, it must meet the terms of the policy. COVID19 will not explicitly be covered under your policy, but complications arising as a result of the virus may lead to other criteria being met – for example kidney, liver, heart or respiratory failure. Your member of staff would also need to meet the minimum period for being off work criteria, which is usually three-six months, dependent on your policy.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Employee Assistance Programmes have really come into their own. Those schemes that are offering virtual access to a GP, including support with mental health issues and anxieties, are being used extensively and really valued by group members. These types of schemes were becoming increasingly popular even before Coronavirus. Since the outbreak, their value has been further highlighted.

The situation we’re facing with COVID19 is unprecedented. Many of our clients are contacting us to make sure they understand how their staff are covered by their policies and that they’re utilising all of the benefits available to them.

To help answer your questions, we’ve developed a new COVID19 Resource page on our website , with links to our policy providers and a library of useful articles. However, please do contact your Consultant if you need further clarification or to review your current Employee Benefits offer.

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