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Charlie Duff

Sift Media

Editor, HRzone.co.uk

Read more about Charlie Duff

Are your employees aware of your sickness policy?

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A survey of 500 businesses has revealed up to 1/4 do not routinely tell employees about any benefits of the sickness policy, leaving many employees unaware of any benefits to them if they fall ill.

 

When asked to elaborate, eight per cent of businesses questioned had a policy in place but preferred to maintain secrecy about the details, 12% said they treated each case on its own merits and 5% said they had no provision at all – but that staff might not be aware of this.

Although PMI and a pension is seen as a major benefit which is oft-quoted on a job description or ad, businesses with generous sickness provision like cover under a Group Income Protection (GIP) policy often falls under the radar as it is claimed it is ‘taboo’ for employees to raise the subject of sick leave – particularly during the recruitment process.

Group Risk Development (GRiD), the trade organisation for the Group Risk industry, which comission the survey, claim it is likely that a fear that absence rates would soar if details of a generous sickness policy were divulged is the key reason for an employer to withhold this information. There is, in fact, no evidence to suggest any such link but this concern still makes employers reluctant to communicate the true value of their benefits package. 

Katharine Moxham from GRiD explains: “Far from encouraging absence, the whole premise of a modern Group Income Protection (GIP) policy is on stepping in early to minimise absence and provide the support needed to get employees back to work in a timely manner."
 
Alongside meeting contractual obligations and ensuring business continuity, recruiting and motivating employees is seen as the prime reason for implementing a benefits package.

Katherine added: “By keeping details of benefits such as GIP under wraps, employers are missing a powerful opportunity to motivate personnel and foster self reliance. As best practice, employers should provide employees with information on company policy in the event of employee absence."

The organisation recommends providing a total reward statement to openly communicate the benefits of being employed with your company to reinforce the employer value proposition to employees and build trust and transparency.
 

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Charlie Duff

Editor, HRzone.co.uk

Read more from Charlie Duff
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