Unum's rehab service got 90% of staff back to work

Unum's rehab service got 90% of staff back to work

Nearly everyone using Unum's rehabilitation service as part of their income protection policy was helped back to work in 2017.

According to statistics from the protection provider, 71 per cent of those who filed claims with Unum's group income protection (GIP) cover were helped back into the workplace last year.

This represented 1,106 claimants who returned after a period of long-term absence for illness or injury, a figure which Ambika Fraser, head of proposition at Unum, claimed was the highest percentage since Unum began publishing its figures in 2015.

Of those who chose to use Unum's rehabilitation service, provided as part of the GIP policy, 90 per cent were able to return to work within six months. 

Of those who returned to work in 2017, 38 per cent had been unable to work because of a mental health problem and 20 per cent had a musculoskeletal problem.

The next most common health conditions were cancer (7 per cent), injuries (6 per cent) and problems with heart and circulation (4 per cent).   

Ms Fraser said: "Going back to work after a period of illness is perhaps the biggest step in returning to a sense of normality and purpose.

"Our team of rehabilitation specialists are committed to helping people achieve their recovery goals, and we attribute our success in this area to the breadth of support we provide, both to ill employees and managers.” 

Last year, Prime Minister Theresa May commissioned an independent report on modern working practices, called the Taylor Review.

As reported in FTAdviser, the 116-page report outlined plans to push more self-employed people into pensions as well as encouraging people to return to the same or similar job after a period of "prolonged ill-health".

Peter O’Donnell, chief executive of Unum UK, said: "GIP policies provide not just financial security but associated rehabilitation and support services, and we be believe they should be made available to more of the workers that need them most.

“The Government can take steps to making this happen by introducing tax incentives to encourage more businesses to support their employees and business through income protection cover.”

In July, Nick Homer, the head of market management, corporate risk, for Zurich UK, told FTAdviser that Zurich would "have liked to see better government support, even with a short-term incentive given" to promote the take-up of GIP among UK firms.

"We were hoping for something akin to a national insurance contributions tax break - certainly we need a more helpful attitude from government towards taxable benefits", he added.