45% unaware of absence support

Nearly half (45%) of respondents are not aware or do not know whether any sickness absence support is available from their employer, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.


Its survey of 1,000 full and part-time employees found that just 9% of respondents believe that staff health and wellbeing is their employer’s top priority. More than a third (36%) name cost-efficiency as their organisation’s top concern and 26% cite employee output in relation to business profit.

The research also found:

  • Less than one in ten (8%) of respondents are aware that their employer offers an employee assistance programme (EAP), while 16% of respondents are do not have access to an employee assistance programme.
  • More than a quarter (28%) of respondents say that employer-provided protection, such as group income protection, would give them peace of mind, and 14% say they have been in a situation where such a programme would have been of help.
  • 22% of respondents do not take their full holiday allowance, with 5% of those who do not take their full entitlement not doing so because taking time off is discouraged by the organisation they work for.

Paul Avis (pictured), marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “Retention of trained staff is a key concern for employers, and failing to promote an ethos of wellbeing among employees will have a negative impact on staff turnover in the long term.

“Individuals that don’t have adequate time off are likely to feel stressed and burnt-out, resulting in a direct hit to productivity.

“Employers need to communicate that they won’t penalise staff for taking the leave entitled to them but also that support is available when they are genuinely in need of help, whether that be work-life balance juggling, stress or anxiety and depression.”