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Unum welcomes Government’s focus on the ‘vital’ role of the workplace in supporting the nation’s health

7th November 2018

Employee benefits specialist Unum welcomes the Government’s ‘Prevention is better than cure’ report, which recognises the vital role businesses play in supporting the nation’s health and employability.

The report, from the Department of Health and Social Care, sets out a vision for improving health through prevention. Unum supports the report’s recognition of the important role employers will play in delivering this vision and the Government’s ambition of seeing one million more disabled people in work by 2027.

When it comes to disabled or ill employees, the report recognises that:

  1. Early, proactive action from employers can retain and reintegrate those who are struggling with their health, or who are off sick;
  2. Flexible adjustments to the workplace, working hours, or the job itself will help people to thrive;
  3. Many employers, especially small businesses, lack access to expert advice.

Peter O’Donnell, CEO of Unum UK, said:

“Supporting disabled people and those with health conditions so they can continue to work and reach their full potential is vital for individuals, society and the economy.

“Not all businesses have access to resources needed to support their staff and addressing this should be the Government’s next priority. We hope measures to incentivise business of all sizes – especially SMEs – form part of the Government’s prevention plan.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to consult next year on measures to encourage and support all employers in playing their part in this vital agenda, and look forward to making a positive contribution.”

Dr Zakir Abbas, Unum UK’s Chief Medical Officer, added:

“We know that early and proactive action by employers can make the difference between supporting someone to remain in work and falling away from the labour market entirely.

“Often the benefits that come with income protection policies – like access to counselling or rehabilitation services – prove invaluable in either preventing absence or helping people back to work. In some cases employees don’t know these services are available. so increasing communication, as well as access, needs to be considered.”

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For media enquiries, please contact Danielle Anthony at Danielle.anthony@unum.co.uk