"Group income protection providers are building a very solid track record of helping people back to work and early intervention and phased returns to work are core to that."
Paul Avis, marketing director at Canada Life, said the group risk insurance industry welcomed the government looking at protecting more people from prolonged absences but stressed it needed to "facilitate change" where great customer outcomes had been seen from the group income protection industry.
He said: "We are the experts and we can factually prove the benefits and our processes for retaining people with disabilities and health problems in the workplace are evidenced."
Mr Avis thought the UK needed "change through actions rather than recommendations" from the government and hoped that UK organisations felt some real benefit, rather than additional costs, from the work that will go into this consultation.
He also pointed out that the statutory sick pay only constitutes £94.25 per week and is "simply a subsistence benefit" rather than protecting an individuals quality of life.
He said that group income protection can bolster an employee's financial stability in times of extending absence from work and often included the same sort of 'get back to work schemes' proposed by the government today.
The government's consultation on the proposed sick pay changes starts today (July 15).
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