Manage stress, firms warned

Employers which do not step up efforts to prevent employees getting ill from
stress will be burdened with heavier premiums for long-term disability cover,
an HR consultancy has warned.

Results from Towers Perrin’s survey on corporate healthcare, revealed
exclusively to Personnel Today, show that the increasing number of people on
long-term sick leave is pushing up the cost of employers’ insurance.

Premiums for four out of 10 schemes have gone up by more than 10 per cent in
the last year.

Greg Clarke, health and risk consultant at Towers Perrin, said stress was
largely to blame for the increase in claims.

"Claims used to be for blue-collar injuries such as musculo-skeletal
problems and accidents, but we have seen a dramatic increase in white-collar
claims specifically stress and depression-related," he said.

"Employers need to be more proactive about disability management to cut
down the number of claims, such as by providing counselling and focusing on
rehabilitation, such as sending staff for convalescence."

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