By Will Meredew 23 July 2021.
This week, the Government published its response to the Health is Everyone’s Business green paper. Focusing on the link between work and health, the response signals increasing recognition of the value of insurance in minimising the risk of ill-health related job loss through better workplace health. The challenge now is for insurers to demonstrate the role of insurance in supporting health outcomes.
The proposed reforms seek to encourage and support employers to invest in the health and wellbeing of their employees. There is strong evidence that employers recognise the link between health and work and the need for less sickness absence, more productivity, and better workplace retention. To meet this challenge, the package of proposed measures aims to strike the right balance between Government support and employer responsibility.
Proposed occupational health (OH) reforms have a strong focus on outcomes and suggest a greater role for insurers as an effective route to high quality OH services. The ABI is working with the DHSC's 'Getting it right first time' (GIRFT) team and the DWP to pilot a best-practice methodology to improve service quality and employer choice in the OH market.
Whilst the response also acknowledges that the majority of employers see statutory sick pay (SSP) as critical to incentivising positive behaviour change, government notes that now is not the time to make changes to SSP that might increase the short term financial burden on employers. Therefore, government proposes to further consider the future of SSP.
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