Friday Highlight  

Five reasons to get more women covered

Claims data tells us loud and clear that women use - and need - the cover.

Knowing women are frequent claimers, brokers can help employers better manage employee absences, which can hit companies hard.

The direct costs of absences add up quickly – statutory sick pay, occupational sick pay, paying overtime and for temporary cover.

The indirect effects can take a toll, too, like lower staff morale if they’re covering for absent colleagues or experiencing increasing workloads. It can also lead to mistakes if staff are having to cover other people’s jobs.

Also, lower productivity is a risk if employees are constantly calling in sick.

Advising on products that keep staff at work, or help them return to work quickly, can be tremendously cost-effective for employers.

Younger women are more likely to have mental health claims

Mental health conditions seem to be a particular problem for younger women. A recent Office for National Statistics study says that younger women are more likely to report suffering from anxiety or depression than their male counterparts.

For those dealing with mental health conditions, finding the right support is imperative.

This can include emotional support, prevention, early intervention, medication, or return-to-work after a leave of absence – all services that employee benefits can provide.

As mental health climbs up the corporate agenda, brokers can help employers harness resources to safeguard mental health, so staff can stay engaged and have a better chance at managing their mental health before it becomes a bigger crisis.

The care factor

Lots of working people also have caring responsibilities at home, whether for children, siblings, spouses or ageing parents. According to Carers Trust, women make up 57 per cent of working-age carers.

The emotional toll that caring responsibilities have on an employee can be difficult to manage, especially when balancing a career. Fortunately, there are several benefits that can help workers navigate the stress of caring responsibilities.

Maternity and paternity leave provides time off and financial assistance to new parents, and enhanced parental leave is especially beneficial.

Employee Assistance Programmes, or EAPs, provide counselling services, emotional support and practical advice on a range of issues pertaining to work/life balance, including care-taking responsibilities.

Beyond this, services such as Mercer’s AgeingWorks connects employees with eldercare experts.

Providing resources for working carers is another way employers can support their female staff. Since many of these services are available with group risk products, brokers can help companies get the most out of their benefits, while attracting and retaining workers who might otherwise have dropped out of work to care for family members.