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Employee financial resilience a key theme for businesses in 2020

Cross-industry group aims to improve consumer access to protection

Improving employees’ financial resilience is likely to be a key theme for employers in 2020, according to GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector.

The cross-industry Access to Insurance Working Group, which is now reporting into the Cabinet Office, has a priority to improve consumer access to protection, particularly for those with long-term health conditions and disabilities, thus improving financial resilience for the UK’s population.

GRiD said the workplace is key to this aim because group risk products are inclusive in nature and a generous level of cover can generally be offered to all employees.

Through 2020 and beyond, the group risk market will be working with the government to make it easier for more employers to protect their people against loss of earnings as a result of death, disability, illness or accident.

Another key theme will be the Good Work Plan legislative changes that come into force in April 2020. Employers must give employees access to a written statement of various particulars of their employment on day one or before and, among other things, this now needs to include their entitlement to sick pay.

The final guidance for employers hasn’t yet been issued, so when it is published employers will need to grasp the changes and take action quickly, GRiD said.

The third key theme for 2020, according to GRiD, is equality and diversity.

The recently published CII/Scope good practice guidance for employers – Achieving an inclusive working environment for disabled people – lays down five challenges to employers to ensure they continue to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce. Measures range from signing up to the DWP Disability Confident scheme, to celebrating achievement and progress made in supporting employees with disability.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said the last decade has seen great steps towards parity for mental and physical health and there is a much better awareness of how an individual’s mental state is often directly affected by their physical wellness.

“2020 will see the government’s expectations that employers take an active role in supporting the physical, mental, social and financial health of their employees gathering momentum – encouraging and coercing employers in rising to the challenge of making our workplaces ever more supportive and inclusive,” she added.