Digital group risk insurer, Ellipse has launched a workplace absence and disability insurance scheme designed to foster early intervention to support sick-absent employees.
Called Sick Pay Complete the new product packages incorporates an online absence management tool, TeamSeer, with an employee assistance programme and long-term disability insurance.
The TeamSeer element is arguably the most crucial. This captures data on the cause, duration and frequency of sickness absence and automatically alerts a case manager within the first four weeks of someone being off work. Ellipse views this process as vital as it enables early intervention, through commissioning by the case of manager of appropriate therapies and treatment which can prevent escalation and can aid recovery. The same case manager can also liaise with employers and medical professionals to support the employee and to create an appropriate return-to-work strategy.
The Support Matters employee assistance programme forms the second prong of Sick Pay Complete, offering resources to employees and managers – whether insured or not – to help them better manage their health, finances and wider lives. It provides face-to-face counselling and easy and confidential access by telephone, SMS text and live chat whilst the programme’s website incorporates a broad range of assets, from advice on quitting smoking, through to legal support to help with, for example, neighbourly property disputes.
Whilst both TeamSeer and Support Matters aim to help prevent, mitigate and shorten absence, Sick Pay Complete still recognises the ultimate need for a safety net, the third prong. This takes the form of long-term disability insurance, a flexible policy which enables employers to determine the percentage of pre-incapacity income to be paid as benefit – up to a 75% ceiling for employees or 50% for equity partners, with maximum basic benefit provided at £350,000 per annum. The employer can also determine whether the benefit is paid to a fixed date or linked to state retirement age.
Sick Pay Complete is designed specifically for SMEs which Ellipse identifies as likely to be lacking in the necessary resources to handle unplanned absences. As such it is aimed at businesses with up to 300 employees who could benefit from the introduction of a data-led process that triggers an externally managed early intervention to support employees.
In launching the product the company cited the huge impact employee illness has upon UK business with official government statistics revealing that in 2013 some 131 million days were lost to sickness absence in the UK – equivalent to 4.4 days per worker (Office of National Statistics, 2014). Equally alarming is the statistic that in the same year one in 32 of all workers was absent through sickness for four weeks or more, a length of absence that for small businesses in particular can be difficult to manage (DWP, 2013).
For a free, impartial and expert consultation on the tools available to help your business minimise the impact of sickness absence, call our team on 01254 504910 or contact us.