Apathy expressed by company bosses to sickness absence represents a growth opportunity for advisers operating in the group risk arena according to insurance firm Ellipse.
Of the 500 small and medium sized managers operating in the UK surveyed by the insurance company, 39 per cent said they do recognise the importance of sickness absence to their business and they want to know how they can manage it better.
Meanwhile, almost a third of the sample admitted their business lacked a sufficient system for managing employee absence, and another 15 per cent said did not record absence at all.
Lee Lovett, chief executive officer of Ellipse, said: “Poor absence management not only impacts on productivity, it often results in absent employees not getting the support they need to return to work.”
“With many SMEs wanting to improve their absence management practices, this is a significant opportunity for advisers to guide an employer’s strategy in this area, especially given the positive impact good management can have in mitigating long term absences and keeping disability insurance premiums down.”
What is more, the study also found that 72 per cent of respondents who use online absence management systems said they would recommend it to others.
Mr Lovett said: “Integrating an online absence management system within long term sick pay insurance, as we have done with Sick Pay Complete, not only ensures timely early interventions it also provides useful everyday value for employers.”
William Annison, director of Derbyshire based HWWA Consulting, said: “I would expect that most advisers would struggle with this because you all of a sudden become involved in HR matters. The issue is advisers usually do not have specialist knowledge on things relating to the health of employees. Therefore advisers have to be careful what they say and what products they recommend or clients might think they just want to sell a product.”