Businesses at risk of being under-insured in wake of welfare reforms (16/01/13)

More than 80 per cent of UK businesses have failed to adapt their approach to employee ill health in the wake of government welfare reforms, research has revealed.

Changes to state benefits introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2012, including greater means testing and capping, have created a potential protection gap, which leaves businesses at risk of being under-insured.

These changes have particular implications for group income protection (GIP) but the study by PMI Health Group discovered only three per cent of companies have expanded GIP schemes to provide staff with additional financial support in case of long-term absence.

“Recent changes to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have put employers at risk, particularly in terms of GIP provision,” said PMI Health Group Director Mike Blake.

 “If a business has made a promise to cover a proportion of an employee’s salary in the event of long-term absence but has failed to re-evaluate its GIP policy in the wake of the benefits cuts, there is a danger they could be left under-insured.

“If the promise of pay is not adequately covered by a GIP scheme, the employer will be left to foot the bill for any shortfall between the promised amount and that covered by the insurer and state.”

The ESA reforms have introduced stricter assessments for fitness to work, meaning staff considered unfit for work by GIP schemes may not be entitled to state benefits.

Of those businesses yet to re-evaluate GIP protection, only 13 per cent are considering future alterations to benefits to help staff cope with changes to state welfare.

However, the new ESA restrictions have yet to result in the widespread adoption of stricter policies for determining workplace absence among businesses.

Only 19 per cent of those surveyed have so far introduced more stringent company policies for evaluations of incapacity and fitness for work.

Doctor appointed to help firms manage employee health and wellbeing (08/01/13)

PMI Health Group, the UK’s largest independently-owned specialist provider of employee health and risk management services, has appointed Dr Vidia Kisnah as a full time Consultant Occupational Physician.

Formally the Health Vice President of Lafarge S.A. in Paris, Dr Kisnah brings a wealth of experience in occupational health and medicine to the role, alongside a numerous clinical qualifications and accreditations.

His new position at PMI Health Group will see him assess the impact of employee health on business clients and offer advice to employers and employees on the effective management of workplace health risks and staff wellbeing.

“I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the success of such a forward-thinking company and look forward to assisting and building relationships with both clients and prospective employers,” he said.

“The high-quality services and levels of professionalism PMI Health Group offers business organisations is extremely impressive.”

Complete with a team of Occupational Health (OH) nurses and physicians, PMI Health Group can help organisations of any size cut the cost of staff ill-health by offering services such as health screenings, wellness programmes and pre-employment assessments.

“With his wealth of valuable sector knowledge and extensive OH experience, we are confident Dr Kisnah will help to further strengthen PMI’s already high standards of service,” said Managing Director Richard Munro.

“We are delighted to welcome him to our successful team.”