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    Top 3 reasons to focus on employee communications

    The top three reasons for focussing on employee communications are:

    1) Maximising the use of the wellbeing services included as part of your group income protection premium can reduce, or even prevent, claims

    These days, group income protection (GIP) should be thought of as more of a wellbeing and service provision than just a financial provision. Although it varies from provider to provider, GIP plans can now include a vast array of free, added-value services, from employee assistance programmes, eldercare support services and best doctors to day zero and early interventions claims management and rehabilitation. The list goes on…

    These services are there for the taking, but surprisingly under-utilised by employers and employees alike. The fact is, for a GIP premium of as little as 0.20% of salary you gain access to all these services that, if used, can realistically reduce or even prevent GIP claims.

    Of course, it’s not just about reducing your costs. Wellbeing initiatives are essential tools for those companies wanting to ensure a competitive edge. They help create a corporate culture that prioritises its employees and customers and is aligned with overall business strategy.

    The key is to communicate these benefits – not only to employees but across the business to line managers, the financial director, the CEO etc.

    2) Tailoring your communications can greatly improve your level of benefits take-up and engagement

    Generic communications are simply not all that effective. That’s a given. This shouldn’t come as any surprise when you consider the fact that UK corporations have never been more diverse: consider the rise of the millennials; the sandwich generation [carers of children and/ or elderly relatives or both]; and the ageing workforce. Each group has its own interests and needs, not to mention the countless sub-divisions within those groups.

    HR professionals play a critical role in helping businesses understand the needs of multiple generations. But reports of reduced overall HR investment over the next year, together with potentially misaligned priorities, suggest that it could pay dividend for HR to lean on the benefits and communications expertise of providers.

    Some providers now offer such help and expertise at no extra cost to clients.  

    3) Alerting your employees to legislative issues that could affect them will not only do them a big favour, but also boost your company’s “goodwill” factor

    Everyone is busy. So if an employer is taking the trouble to highlight to its employees changes in legislation that might affect them and their finances, that could only be considered a positive.

    Take the imminent reductions to state benefits, for example. Under the new Universal Credit regime to be introduced on 6 April 2017, the limited capacity for work element will be abolished to mirror changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This reduces support for those deemed capable of some work-related activity from £5,312 to £3,801 a year. This reduction, coupled with the fact that only around 50% of individuals are accepted for ESA anyway, makes the need for income protection ever more important.