More than a third (36%) of respondents have access to an employer-organised sick pay insurance scheme, according to research by BHSF.
Its A high wire with no safety net report, which surveyed 1,000 employees, also found that 33% of respondents believe that financial worries affect their job performance, either on a continual or occasional basis.
The research also found:
- 30% of respondents have access to an employer-subsidised sick pay insurance scheme, and 6% use a salary sacrifice arrangement for sick pay insurance.
- 50% of respondents have no sick pay insurance at all, and 54% of respondents who were given the option to join an employer-organised sick pay scheme did not take up the benefit.
- 68% of respondents state that their employer does not provide cancer cover, and 22% do not know if there is any cancer cover available through their employer.
- 30% of respondents do not know how long their employer will continue to pay them in the event of sickness, and 17% do not know their employer’s policy on sick pay.
- 72% of respondents worry, either all or some of the time, about their own financial security in the event of ill health.
- 48% of respondents lose sleep worrying about financial issues, and 13% find that sleep deprivation brought on by financial issues are a constant problem.
- 37% of respondents could not pay their bills in the event of ill health, and 28% would resort to using credit cards to pay for unexpected bills.
- 13% of respondents do not know how long they could survive without a regular income.
Brian Hall (pictured), managing director at BHSF Employee Benefits, said: “The combination of a lack of savings allied to zero sick pay provision, other than the statutory minimum of £89.35 per week, leaves many employees walking a high wire with no safety net. By the time mortgages, car repayments, council tax and four-weekly shops are taken into account, the vast majority of the UK’s workforce will find themselves in dire financial straits in a very short period of time, many will be forced back to work when they are not fit to return.
“There are low cost insurance schemes available that can provide a safety net, but it needs employers to act as the catalyst in the workplace. If employees truly are the most valuable asset, it is incumbent upon employers to be brave and to help educate their workforce about financial issues such as sick pay. All too often the subject is swept under the carpet or not adequately addressed with a negative impact on employee wellbeing and mental health.”