Press release 30 April 2020.
GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector, has formed a new Workplace Public Policy Committee with the aim of promoting workplace health and wellbeing matters to government. The committee will share and shape lobbying activities on behalf of GRiD with the dual aims of representing an agreed industry position to government and positively influencing policy making.
GRiD works with government departments involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits; this new committee both formalises the approach and allows for a wider remit, looking at workplace health and wellbeing in a broader context.
Simon Hodgson, who leads public affairs for Unum, is the chair of the new committee, and Nick Homer, head of market management at Zurich Corporate Risk will support the committee at GRiD’s Steering Group.
Steve Bridger, chair of GRiD said: “Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries, all of whom have a wealth of experience built over many years and who have witnessed successive governmental approaches to decision-making regarding the health of the nation’s workforce. This collective strength will mean we will be a voice to be reckoned with when current and future policymakers are taking judgements about employers and the health of their employees.”
The government’s recent consultation, Health is Everyone’s Business (July 2019), looked at how to help employers prevent sickness absence and support their staff, should poor health threaten their ability to work. It sets out plans to improve workplace health, particularly among SMEs, toughening obligations currently placed on employers, and strengthening enforcement of existing sick pay protections.
The group risk industry is perfectly placed to support this, which was overlooked in the consultation, and the Workplace Public Policy Committee will look to work closely with government to show the vital role that group risk insurers can play in such support. It will also highlight the contribution being made by some of the country’s best employers who already take preventative action in providing group income protection to look after the financial, mental and physical health of their workforce.
Scope of work
The committee’s first output is a letter to the Work and Pensions Secretary outlining a range of non-legislative and low-cost potential initiatives, designed to help deliver a true cultural shift among employers – empowering and supporting them to invest in the health and wellbeing of their workforce, and delivering benefits for workers, businesses, government and society.
The committee will be creative in its thinking and so may progress initiatives that focus on broader workplace related topics, liaising with other relevant representative groups, that will be to the wider benefit of the group risk industry.
Simon Hodgson, chair of GRiD’s Workplace Public Policy Committee said: “Many employers have already seen the business benefits of investing in the health and wellbeing of their workforce, but we believe too many workers, and particularly those working in smaller or medium sized businesses, are missing out – despite the fact that they represent almost half of the working population.
“Together, our organisations have been supporting employers large and small for decades, helping them look after their staff and getting them back to work. By drawing from the wide expertise of our members and building a broad consensus, we will continue to develop sound proposals to put forward to government that will be intended to improve the workplace health of millions of people.”
- Ends –
For further information please contact:
SMUK Marketing and PR
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508
Notes for editors
Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk protection sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their wellbeing and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries who have a collective wealth of experience built over years of operating in the group risk protection market. Under the chairmanship of Steve Bridger (MD Group Protection, Corporate, Aviva UK Insurance) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.
GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.
GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.
Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham