Seventy eight per cent of SME employers in the dark on cost of sickness absence

March 2004
Management Services;Mar2004, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p5
Academic Journal
This article reports on research conducted by UnumProvident on the cost of sickness absence among small and medium-sized businesses in Great Britain, as of March 2004. Research reveals that an estimated 78% of business owners have never calculated the cost of sickness absence in their company. The widespread lack of measurement hides the fact that 70% of the total bill for sickness absence can be due to long-term absence. In addition, nearly two million employees will be off work for at least six months at any time due to sickness or disability. These figures highlight the need to manage risk, just as it is common sense to insure a business premises and fixed assets. Without protection, the cost of ill health early retirement becomes a heavy burden on the employer, the employee and the tax payer. UnumProvident director Eugene McCormack said the pensions crisis has put new pressure on employers who may need to retire employees early on grounds of ill health. In response to employers' need for ill health early retirement protection, UnumProvident has added a new group income protection product called Capital Option to its Sickness Absence Solutions range. The product provides income benefits, followed by a lump sum to finance an employee's early retirement or leaving service benefits.


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