A cancer diagnosis is always extremely difficult to come to terms with. The uncertainty it creates, coupled with the need to take time off from work and the potential financial implications only exacerbate the situation.
But while an employee having time off to receive cancer treatment and begin the road to recovery can often be absorbed by large corporations, the impact it has on SMEs – who have significantly less resources – is far more damaging. This is of great concern considering SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy, accounting for 99.9% of all private sector businesses.
That’s why SMEs in particular stand to benefit from protection products that are designed to safeguard both the business and the employee. However, many SMEs assume employee healthcare benefits are too expensive and sadly don’t even explore the options that are available.
Delivering cancer support through benefits
When it comes to minimising the impact of a cancer diagnosis on both the business and the employee, several products are available. Group Income Protection provides financial assistance when an individual is unable to work due to an illness or injury. This makes it a solid first line of defence against lost income when cancer treatment begins. Furthermore, Group Income Protection typically costs just 1% of salary roll, which is more affordable than most SMEs think.
Similarly, Group Critical Illness affords additional peace of mind by providing the employee with a one-off, tax-free payment if they are diagnosed with a qualifying illness. This allows the individual to focus on their recovery without worrying about the financial consequences of a long-term absence.
Employee Assistance Programmes
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) can also play a crucial role, complementing the financial products by providing valuable support services. For example, some EAPs include telephone-based helplines, access to a second medical opinion and special cancer drugs funds. Cancer-related work support services are also an option and can help employees come to terms with their illness, self-manage their symptoms and, when possible, return to work.
In addition to the financial and non-financial support provided by the products mentioned above, SMEs also stand to benefit from the fact they are demonstrating commitment to their workforces. This helps with both recruitment and retention, as it boosts the SME’s status in the eyes of employees and potential employees.
Obviously, while employee benefits cannot reverse a cancer diagnosis, they can make one a lot easier to deal with going forward. With the financial impact mitigated, employees can focus on their recovery and returning to work once more.
There are a wealth of affordable benefits available to employers to support their employees. Whether this is in the form of health screenings to provide early diagnosis, Employee Assistance Programmes to provide mental health reassurance, or a Group Income Protection scheme to provide extensive rehabilitation and financial peace of mind.
To find out more about employee benefits, choose the right approach for your business and its people, contact us today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and provide bespoke advice that’s perfect for your situation.
A highly motivated result’s driven individual with a wealth of experience in the Healthcare & Group Risk market. I have established strong relationships with large multinational clients through excellent interpersonal skills. I have advanced listening, negotiating & influencing skills that allow me succeed in a team based environment. I have comprehensive knowledge of the UK Healthcare & Group Risk market. This knowledge has been obtained through the Chartered Insurance Institute & self study.