As my colleague Matthew Bucknall pointed out in his recent post, employers are increasing their focus on health and wellbeing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, the same research also highlights how the vast majority of organisations want to be seen as a caring employer when introducing a health benefits programme.
Indeed, according to the Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2020, being seen as a caring employer is still at the top of the list for employers (cited by 72%) when asked about what their healthcare benefits programmes have been successful in achieving.
The findings of this year’s survey also show that the number of employers has increased over both 2019 and 2018, when 69% and 60% said this respectively.
It’s never been more important for organisations to retain their best talent
With an increasingly uncertain labour market, it has never been so important for organisations to retain their best talent and reassure employees. One of the most effective ways for a company to do this is by establishing an external image of itself as an employer that cares about its staff.
This focus on the employer’s external image may well reflect the issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and the public’s perception of an organisation.
In addition to providing a duty of care (63%) and improving the health and wellbeing of staff (60%), good employee engagement now seems to have more of a pivotal focus than ever before, cited by 60% of this year’s respondents compared to 49% in 2019.
Organisations also looking to protect themselves
Meanwhile, separate research shows that as well as trying to improve their employees’ health and wellbeing, employers are also looking to safeguard themselves too.
According to data from research firm GlobalData, over one-third (38.4%) of SMEs in the UK are interested in purchasing insurance that protects them from pandemic-related losses. However, the premiums organisations are willing to pay for such protection varies widely.
GlobalData’s 2020 UK SME Insurance Survey found that interest for an insurance product that protects against the losses incurred by a pandemic is highest among medium-sized SMEs, with over 75% of those that had to fully cease operations during lockdown interested in purchasing such cover. Moreover, these firms would also be willing to pay the highest premium, up to £5,031 on average.
Micro businesses and sole traders who remained fully operational during lockdown were the least interested in insurance that could protect against pandemic-related losses. This group, perhaps unsurprisingly, was also not willing to pay much for such insurance, up to £706 on average. Even micro and sole trader businesses that had to cease all operations during lockdown would only be willing to pay up to £1,061 on average for pandemic-related loss insurance.
Speaking about the findings of the GlobalData research, Daniel Pearce, senior insurance analyst at GlobalData, said that should the insurance market look to develop such a policy for the SME market, it would likely be unsustainable for many insurers to do so for micro and sole trader businesses due to the low level of interest and the fact they would be willing to pay the least in premiums.
Interested in finding out how you can be seen as a caring employer, as well as protect your business and your employees? Get in touch with us today.
Claire Ginnelly is the Managing Director of Premier Choice Health and has been in the private medical insurance industry since 1991. All her experience has been gained working for large insurance companies managing the distribution of health insurance products through intermediaries. She has held senior positions within Standard Life Healthcare, as Head of Intermediary Sales, and Groupama Healthcare, as Head of Distribution.