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REBA - Employers’ role in protecting employees’ wellbeing is set to expand in 2020, says GRiD

By Katharine Moxham 14 January 2020.

It’s that time of year when we all become clairvoyants. Fortunately we don’t all use the same crystal ball and there’s a great variety of predictions to choose from, so here’s my take on what employers might expect in 2020.

Behind the scenes during 2019 there has been a cross-industry direction of change via the Access to Insurance Working Group (which is now reporting into the Cabinet Office), and this initiative will continue into 2020 and beyond. As charged by the then Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton MP, the working group’s priority is to improve consumer access to protection insurance, particularly for those with long-term health conditions and disabilities, thus improving outcomes and financial resilience for the UK’s population.

The workplace is key to this aim. Group risk (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness) is inclusive in nature and, generally, a generous level of cover can be given to all members of a group policy regardless of their state of health and without them having to go through the tedious process of submitting medical evidence. It’s also easy for employees as they don’t have to find a financial adviser or worry about it being affordable, good value or the cost of advice, as their employer has done all that for them.

It's important to acknowledge that employers don’t have to offer any of these benefits. However, those that do make a significant difference to support the financial, physical and emotional health and wellbeing (not to mention, peace of mind) of nearly 13 million employees who have access to material levels of financial protection through the group risk market, according to Swiss Re Group Watch 2019 figures.

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