Health cash plans could be the key to managing employee absence
Absence within the education sector costs on average £647 per employee, per year*. When this cost is multiplied by the number of employees in an organisation the figure can quickly climb into the thousands which can have a significant impact on education budgets.
According to healthcare provider Simplyhealth, the average cost of hiring a supply teacher is £300** a day. For the same price as employing one supply teacher to cover for one day, five members of staff can benefit from a health cash plan for a whole year.
1,165 employees at Transforming Education in Norfolk (the TEN Group), a federation of educational institutions in Norfolk, all committed to excellence in education, have a health cash plan through Simplyhealth. Hilary Bright, Director of HR Services at Norfolk Educational Services says the plan has had a significant impact on sickness absence.
Since the introduction of the Simply Cash Plan in 2008 we have noticed a reduction in the length of time a member of staff is absent. Together with other absence management tools we have seen a 24% reduction in sickness absence in City College Norwich, a large college of further education within the TEN Group, in the first four years of offering the plan.
It’s important that organisations look at ways to help reduce sickness absence in the workplace which in turn can help to drive down costs. A health cash plan covers the cost of a wide range of everyday healthcare needs, such as visits to the dentist and the opticians as well as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic treatments to manage musculoskeletal conditions. Cash plans also include employee assistance programmes which help to manage staff absence and employees are able to access a free, confidential helpline that provides support for issues relating to health and wellbeing and helps employers to fulfil their duty of care requirements. Health cash plans form part of an overall health and wellbeing programme which can help improve absence rates, and allow businesses to provide proactive solutions for staff to help them to manage their everyday health.
Getting the wellbeing strategy right can lead to a resilient workforce as well as having a positive effect on business level outcomes and the health of employees within the education sector. Simplyhealth has recently joined forces with wellbeing experts, Robertson Cooper, to support people’s health, wellbeing and resilience in the workplace through its ‘Good Day at Work’ network.
‘Good Day at Work’ is a free online community where individuals and employers can access a wealth of resources to help improve their levels of resilience, as well as sharing ideas and experiences with others. Alongside guides, videos, reports and case studies, the site includes i-resilience, a free personality questionnaire designed to identify where individuals draw their resilience from.
Simplyhealth offers health cash plans, dental plans and private medical insurance to individuals, families and companies. To find out more about Simplyhealth’s products please visit www.simplyhealth.co.uk.
* CIPD Absence Management Survey 2012
** Independent research commissioned by Simplyhealth, May 2013