More than a third (38%) organisations have witnessed a growing trend for employees to sacrifice their benefits over the last two years – including financial protection benefits such as income protection, life insurance or pension contributions – for a cash lump sum.
According to research by Unum, almost one in five (18%) companies has also witnessed a decrease in the amount employees are contributing into their pension schemes.
The survey also indicated 36% of employees only expect to be paid their full salary for a month at most, and many for no time at all, if they were absent due to long-term sickness or injury. A third say they would survive less than a month on a weekly statutory sick pay of £79.15.
Unum’s research also shows almost half of all UK workers have been off work for more than a week due to illness or injury at some point in their career and approximately two million workers currently in employment have had to take off six months or more.
Marco Forato, chief marketing officer at Unum, said: “We are witnessing several concerning trends that would point to many employees currently taking a very short-term view of their financial situation.
“Although there is no denying a lot of people are struggling financially as a result of the recession, workers should only opt out of long-term financial benefits as a last resort.
“It is vital employees instead seek to protect themselves and their dependants by having robust financial cover in place.”
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