7th March 2019
The most recent unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal record numbers of people in employment in the fourth quarter of 2018, with the unemployment rate also standing at the lowest level seen since 1975. These figures, allied with a record high in the number of job vacancies, indicate that the job market has swung in favour of employees.
With that in mind what can employers do to encourage their people not to look elsewhere? One option could be to consider instigating a Group Income Protection scheme. Put simply, Group Income Protection Schemes enable employers to pay a monthly benefit to their employees should those individuals be unable to work due to illness or injury.
It is worth noting that mental health issues are also covered by these plans. In fact a survey by Legal & General revealed that in 2017 29% of Group Income Protection claims were for mental illness. This is one area where Group Income Protection plans can prove to be particularly helpful. Often those suffering from mental illness need additional support in order to manage a return to work. Group Protection Plans can include access to support and rehabilitation programmes, helping employees to return to work as swiftly and safely as possible thereby bringing a win-win situation for businesses and their people.
In addition to regular monthly payments some policies also carry the option of providing a lump sum payment on diagnosis of certain specified illnesses or on death. Other options include cover for employer national insurance payments or employee pension contributions. When it comes to length of payments, cover can be provided for a fixed period or up to a set age limit and can also vary according to employee groups, enabling businesses to target cover appropriately across their organisation.
Group Income Protection premiums are tax deductable as a business expense and they therefore do not need to be scheduled on P11Ds. Benefits paid under the plan are treated as trading receipts but as these are generally paid on to employees via payroll this generates a neutral tax position.
Commenting on Group Income Protection plans Thompson Jenner Financial Services Director Neil Sear said “Group income plans can help businesses to provide much needed protection for their people whilst at the same time helping their employees to return to work as swiftly as possible. Thompson Jenner Financial Services can help businesses to identify the most appropriate levels of cover for their organisation and their people.” https://www.thompson-jenner.co.uk/service/business-protection/
If you would like to find out more or meet to discuss Group Income Protection plans or any business protection services which we are able to provide, please contact Neil Sear at either our Exeter or Exmouth office on 01392 258553 or 01395 279521 to arrange a free initial meeting.