News update – Coors save £1m on ills

Coors Brewers is expected to save £1 million by getting sick employees back to work.

After overhauling its absence management programme, the firm cut the number of staff who may have retired early on health grounds from 50 to 40 people.

Dave York, director of rewards and pensions, predicted that this would save the company pension fund £1 million over a 20-year period.

He said: “We have roughly about 50 people a year potentially subject to incapacity pensions. In the trial period we’ve managed to reduce that to nearer 40. About 12 cases going through that were going to become incapacities didn’t end up being so.”

He said that the reasons these employees didn’t retire early varied. “Some [people will not go on incapacity pensions] because they weren’t genuine but others because we’ve found solutions to help people get back to work.”

Coors saved an additional £300,000 a year by solving other absence problems. The alcoholic beverages firm previously used separate providers for its provision of occupational health, health insurance and an employee assistance programme. Yorke said that because of these separate providers some problems had gone unnoticed.

This led Coors to integrate all of its healthcare benefits through one system with Bupa. He added despite short term costs it would be worth it in the end.