Leading protection insurer, Unum, has responded to the government’s Green Paper consultation on work, health and disability calling for financial incentives for employers to invest in Group Income Protection (GIP).
Commenting on Improving lives, the Green Paper on work, health and disability published jointly by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Health, Unum, has recommended the government introduce a temporary tax incentive for employers to buy GIP to improve the working lives of employees with disabilities and long term health problems. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), who are also supporting the approach, the tax break could extend access to GIP protection to an extra 1.5 million people.
Unum has welcomed the government’s recognition that action to increase the number of employers and employees with GIP would improve employment outcomes and is recommending the government take bold, ambitious action by introducing a temporary reduction in the national insurance contributions of employers that provide GIP. Unum proposes a reduction of £30 per employee covered, which is around 10 to 20 per cent of the cost of a typical GIP policy.
Employers of all sizes already use GIP to enable employees with health problems to stay in work and a tax incentive would encourage employers to extend GIP to more employees so many more get the support they need to stay in work.
Unum also supported proposals in the Green Paper to increase the information employers have on the benefits to businesses of GIP and on how to manage sickness absence effectively. Unum also asked the government to explore new obligations on employers to better support staff with long term health problems.
The Green Paper also identifies the need to review how Fit Notes are used by medical professionals, employees and employers to ensure people get the right support to return to work wherever possible. Unum has supported this action as it believes problems with the Fit Note contribute to unhealthily long absences and people falling out of work avoidably.
See Unum press release in full here.