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Unum welcomes charity’s call for employers to invest in Group Income Protection to break link between money worries and poor mental health

1st June 2017

Employee benefits experts Unum have backed a new report by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute in to financial difficulty and mental health at work. The report highlights how money worries affect employees’ mental health and reduce their productivity at work. It recommends employers invest in Group Income Protection so employees can recover quicker from periods of poor mental health and are less stressed by the risk of becoming too ill to work.

The timely report states that two thirds (67%) of employees who are finding things financially difficult have at least one sign of poor mental health, compared to 41% of those who are financially comfortable. It notes that half of employees who are finding things difficult financially felt they achieved less than they would have liked (55%) or worked less carefully (53%) over the last four weeks as a result of emotional problems, such as feeling depressed or anxious.

It then links these problems to increased risk of sickness absence and the UK’s productivity problem. UK workers are around 25% less productive than US or Dutch workers for example.

To boost productivity, reduce sickness absence and protect the financial and mental wellbeing of their employees, the report recommends employers invest in workplace savings schemes that build financial resilience and in Group Income Protection.

It highlights how Group Income Protection can reduce stress by providing a secure income when people with mental health problems are too ill to work but also speed their return to work through “therapeutic interventions” that reduce the length of sickness absence.

Commenting on the report, John Letizia, Head of Public Affairs and CSR, said, "More and more people are reporting money worries, and this report highlights the impact this is having on their mental health and productivity. The next government must take strong action to help improve the financial resilience of working people and to encourage employers, especially smaller ones, to invest in products like workplace ISAs and Group Income Protection".

-ENDS-

Notes for editors

  1. Unum, the UK’s leading provider of Group Income Protection, recently launched a report setting out its four policy priorities for the next government to build a healthier, more productive workforce. The employee benefits company is calling on the government introduce a temporary tax break for small and medium sized organisations that invest in GIP. It is also calling for the next government to deliver a coordinated plan to build the financial capability of working people so they can prepare for the risk of becoming too ill to work.
    The report and a video of Unum’s HR Director, Liz Walker, discussing Unum’s call for the government to improve financial resilience is available here: http://www.unum.co.uk/ge2017
  2. The report Overstretched, overdrawn, underserved: financial difficulty and mental health at work by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute is available here: http://www.moneyandmentalhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MMHPIOverstretched-Overdrawn-Underserved.pdf 
  3. Unum has teamed up with SmarterInvestments to enable companies to offer their employees Stocks & Shares ISA through the workplace. For more information, visit: https://www.smarterinvestment.co.uk/workplace/employers

 

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