This Tuesday, the financial effect of absence from work due to mental health problems was debated in Westminster Hall. Rising up the workplace agenda, the role employers (and particularly SMEs) need to play is becoming increasingly central, and Group Income Protection in particular has been recognised as being a fundamental tool for employers to use to help.

Commenting on the debate Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said:

“The role of employers in supporting those dealing with mental ill health has been seen as crucial, and rightly positively debated in Parliament. Income protection insurance through the workplace (Group Income Protection) has been justly recognised as a positive way for employers to provide a financial safety net and to enable them to help support people back to work.

“We will be working closely with Government and the new Single Financial Guidance Body on extending the reach of Group Income Protection and will continue to promote it so that more people have access to this valuable benefit through their workplace.

“Support for mental health as part and parcel of Group Income Protection products is wide-ranging for people dealing with mental ill health:

  • It gives fast access to the help that they need and the opportunity to stay in work.
  • It provides a replacement income for any extended period off work.
  • The support that comes along with Group Income Protection helps to get people back to work after a period of sickness absence.
  • It helps employers to make reasonable adjustments to support a return to work.
  • It reduces the cost for employers and Government of long-term sickness absence.
  • Furthermore, support is also available to help with preventing absence, managing mental health and encouraging better health behaviours.

“In the debate, Group Income Protection was described as a product that is ‘working well’ and, through our involvement in the DWP’s Access to Insurance Working Group, we will work towards addressing the challenge to encourage more SMEs to use Group Income Protection to support their employees better through periods of mental and other ill health.”