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1 in 5 of us has taken time off work with stress

On average employees who have taken time off for stress have been absent for five days but nearly one in 10 employees have had to take more than six days off work through stress.

The nationwide study found problems with stress were a bigger cause of work absence in the past year than taking time off to deal with family illness and was matched only by absences following bereavements.

The study found nearly two-thirds (63%) of employees said they would welcome help and advice in the workplace on how to improve their health.

Currently 61% of employees receive some form of health and wellness support at work with health advice the most popular – 37% of employees receive health advice at work. However the study shows just 13% of employees are provided with income protection policies which guarantee a level of income if they are absent for long periods.

MetLife Employee Benefits has launched its innovative ProActive Protection policy which helps employers prevent absences becoming a major issue and enables employees to return to work earlier.

The group income protection policy ensures employers are supported by a team of Client Relationship Managers and larger schemes have a dedicated Client Relationship Manager and a Claims Specialist. They will pro-actively engage with employers to understand absences early on and to suggest any early intervention that may be advisable.

The policy is delivered through MetLife’s Wellbeing Hub which provides employees with a confidential health and wellness programme including counselling services and health advice. Employees can generate their own Health Age through the online service.  If they become ill employees are supported with returning to work.

Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director of MetLife UK, said, “Stress is a major issue with one in five employees having to take time off work in the past year.

“It is clear that staff would welcome more support and help from employers on health and wellness in the workplace and it is also clear that employers have recognised the need to provide support.

“There is a genuine benefit for both employers and employees in promoting good health at work. Helping staff to be healthier cuts the cost of absence for employers and enables employees to avoid illness where possible and to recover faster.”

MetLife’s research shows 10% of staff have had to take time off work due to sports-related injuries in the past year while 8% have had to take time off due to hangovers and other alcohol-related issues.

ProActive Protection is currently available through a selected panel of financial intermediaries with a wider launch to follow nationwide.

MetLife has partnered with AXA PPP healthcare who are specialists  in providing health and wellness programmes, early intervention and rehabilitation.  Identifying  and supporting employees in returning to work.

The minimum number of lives covered is three with no maximum on the number of lives that can be covered. Benefit of up to &pound425,000 a year can be selected up to a maximum of 80% of earnings and deferred periods are 13 and 26 weeks on day one. Incapacity definitions include own occupation or own or suited occupation.

MetLife is one of the fastest-growing life and pensions groups in the UK and its Employee Benefits division has its Head Quarters in Brighton**. Employing around 150 people, it is the UK hub for the sales and administration of its employee benefits and individual protection businesses.  


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