Last Autumn saw the publication of ‘Thriving at Work’, the UK Government’s independent review of mental health and employers. The report took a broad look at the role of the workplace in helping improve mental health in the UK.

‘Presenteeism’ or working while sick can cause exhaustion and poor long term health – tangible long term damage not only to the employee and their family, but also to their employer. Quite apart from the devastating effect that long term mental health issues can have on us as individuals, for the employer there can be a staggering effect on productivity . While the contrasting subject of absenteeism has historically received extensive attention, presenteeism has only recently been studied. The report estimates that the cost to employers in the context of presenteeism is between £17bn to £26bn p.a- far more significant than the cost of absenteeism which is estimated at around £8bn p.a. The report proves to be sobering reading for both employee and employer.

Employee benefit schemes such as Group Income Protection not only offer the employer financial support to enable sick pay to be offered to the employee, virtually every Group Income protection policy in the UK also comes with an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) . There is a growing body of evidence to show that access to EAP  counselling services, talking therapies, financial, legal and family advice support services keep employees ‘well at work’.

Almost every one of us will, at some point in our lives, be touched by mental health issues. There has never been a greater need for advice and at Williams Financial Planning we specialise in all aspects of business protection. If you are a business owner talk to us about employee benefits-it may be the most valuable investment that you will ever make.


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