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Employers lack confidence in helping employees back to work

6 August 2012

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The majority of employers do not feel equipped in helping employees get back into work following illness, research shows.

A survey by Aviva found just one in five said they have the skills required to support an employee’s rehabilitation in the workplace after absence through sickness.

A further quarter of employers surveyed said they would be “worried” over having to continue paying sick pay to those employees returning to work.  

The research also showed a “worrying” lack of awareness among some employers over the level of State support available to employees who are unable to work due to long-term illness. 

Nearly two-thirds of employers (63%) admitted they didn’t know how much a person is paid in benefits through the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Just one in ten (11%) employers had reviewed their sick-pay arrangements following the welfare reform changes.

More optimistically, however, 43% of employers said employees should be auto-enrolled onto a scheme that gives them financial protection in the event of long-term sickness absence to compensate for their lack of confidence in supporting such employees back to work.

”There is a concerning lack of awareness among employers about the State benefits relating to illness or injury,” said Steve Bridger, Head of Group Risk at Aviva.

“However, we’re encouraged to see that employers recognise the benefit of auto-enrolling employees onto a scheme that gives them financial protection if they are unable to work due to long-term illness and aids rehabilitation.”

Around one in five (17%) employers said they are already considering taking out group income protection.