Financial back-up lacking for one-fifth of employees

One in five employees have no financial back-up should they be unable to work, according to research from financial protection provider Unum.

One-fifth of the 1,095 employees polled admitted to having no financial back-up in place at all, whether savings or an insurance policy, such as income protection, or even the ability to rely on their partner or family. This is despite the average worker saying they could only survive financially for about four weeks without their full current salary.

Unum’s research shows that almost half of all UK workers have been off work for more than a week due to illness or injury at some point in their career and approximately two million workers currently in employment have had to take off six months or more.

While, on average, workers expect to receive full pay from their employer for four weeks should they be unable to work due to illness or injury, the reality is often quite different. Unum says one in 10 of those who have been off work sick for over a week did not receive full pay for any part of their absence.

Marco Forato, Unum’s chief marketing officer, said employers had an important role to play in providing access to financial protection through the workplace.

“In the economic climate, companies are looking for improved performance and we know there is a proven link between creating a good working environment and business success. Good companies know that engaging with employees to provide access to financial protection both benefits their business and safeguards their employees,” he said.

Of those who say that they do have a financial security net, the burden on loved ones should anything go wrong could be significant, with a quarter (25%) saying that they will have to rely on their partner and around the same proportion (24%) relying on their family for support should they be unable to work.

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