GRiD, the trade body for the group risk and protection industry, has urged employers to do encourage their staff to make use of their existing employee benefits in the run up to Christmas.
The festive period – the run up to Christmas Day, the day itself, and the time afterwards – can all be particularly stressful for individuals and their families.
But GRiD is reminding employers that many group protection schemes offer access to helplines for mental wellbeing, support for relationship problems and access to virtual GPs.
Katharine Moxham, GRiD spokesperson, said the group risk industry has seen the utilisation of such benefits increase “significantly” since the pandemic and she does not expect that demand to diminish and may well increase over the festive period as employees face extra challenges this year.
She said: “Although employees may be isolated from their usual home and work support networks, they don’t need to be isolated from help. The protection, health and wellbeing industries have provided much needed support to employees this year, possibly more than any other year. Of course employees can only make use of such support when they know it’s available, and we’d really encourage employers to promote these valuable services, especially over the festive break.”
Moxham (pictured) said that far from wanting employees to access fewer services as that could reduce their costs, in fact group risk providers want to see more utilisation.
She said: “We don’t want anything holding employers back from encouraging their staff to access help, so it’s key for employers to understand that utilising such support does not cost them any extra money. The benefits are provided by the industry as part of their commitment to early intervention, prevention and to support wellbeing, and insurers want their benefits used. Help can be accessed every day by employees whenever it is needed, at no extra cost to the employer or employee.”
Support can be provided 24/7 including Christmas Day, and can offer help for financial, physical and emotional issues as well as for more practical matters such as emergency elder care.