PPP has launched a PMI product aimed at reducing absenteeism at work.
Back to Health is aimed at helping employees with long term illness gain speedy access to treatment and so return to work more quickly.
PPP claims use of the product will lead to increased productivity, lower sick pay costs and reduced temporary staff costs. It believes that as the policy does not cover problems which have no bearing on the ability to work – such as the extraction of wisdom teeth – then premiums will be lower. As a result of this, it is expected take-up of the product will be extended to cover non-management staff.
The key areas included are orthopaedics, hernias, heart disease and psychiatric treatment.
A claim is triggered when a medical problem is affecting the employee to do their job. For example, this might be a warehouse worker with a hernia who was unable to do heavy lifting. However, a keyboard operator who was not affected, would not be able to claim and would need to await NHS treatment.
Dudley Lusted, a PPP spokesman, said: “This will be a useful tool for employers. Their premiums will be allowable as a business expense, while employees will be subject to a taxable benefit in kind.
But he added that employees would gain considerable benefits from the cover and would be likely to pay no more than around £2 a month in extra tax.
Back to Health is only available to companies which have an occupational health department, but Lusted said this might be reviewed once the product becomes more established.
Treatment under the Back to Health product can only be carried out at PPP’s approved network of hospitals and the cover does not cover emergencies.