1 in 4 felt their employer didn’t care about their physical health - and weren’t supportive when people were ill. And only 41% felt their employer was any good at supporting mental health in the workplace.
The workers who’ve kept businesses going over the last two years clearly aren’t feeling the love. 30% are still worried about their job security, and another 31% about finances.
There’s also considerable anxiety about health - for obvious reasons – with 40% admitting to being worried about their own health, more than half worrying about the health of their family - and 60% citing worries about the NHS’s ability to treat them while it’s dealing with both Covid and the longest waiting lists on record.
As a result, interest in private health cover benefits has been growing. 70% of workers in the survey said health insurance was now an important or somewhat important benefit. What’s more, over half (57%) also said they would be prepared to sacrifice a portion of their salary for a health plan that included 24/7 GP, free physio, stress support and face to face counselling, private hospital tests, diagnosis, and treatment from top consultants.
Equipsme’s Managing Director Matthew Reed said: “Vacancies are at an all-time high, and for the businesses that have survived the pandemic retaining and attracting great people is more important than ever. And with health so high on the agenda across the board, workplace health benefits could be a great way to give something back to the people who’ve given you their all.
“We’ve seen interest in Equipsme plans soar over the last few months, as businesses getting to grips with their new reality and new budgets are actively choosing health benefits as a key way to support and reward staff.”
Putting health centre stage
One organisation that’s made health a priority for the workforce is Soho Theatre in London. The pandemic has put the arts under enormous pressure, but despite - or perhaps because of it - the charity and social enterprise started looking into private health cover. Equipsme just seemed to fit.
“With theatres reopening after a challenging year, it felt like an important time to look after the people making a living in the industry, and keeping it going,” says Catherine McKinney, Head of Finance and Administration. “So, we picked up conversations about health insurance as a way of supporting our employees, at a time when everyone is more conscious of the need to take care of themselves.”
Isobel O’Flanagan is the Administrative Assistant for Soho Theatre and is responsible for day-to-day HR support – and running the Equipsme scheme. She adds: “When we followed it up, Equipsme just seemed to make sense. The cover and the price were exactly what we needed.
“We have 90+ staff and we wanted to get as many of them as possible on cover – including the bar staff and front of house staff on minimum hours contracts. We’ve done it so that everyone gets the GP plus cover as soon as they finish their probation period, and after two years’ service they move up to Level 2 cover, which includes diagnosis and treatment.
“So far I think it’s been really well received. People seem to be pleased that they’ve got that option. We all love the NHS, but we know it’s overstretched and underfunded. Now we’ve all got some back-up.”
Catherine concludes: “We want to continue welcoming audiences, artists and creatives to our building, and producing new theatre, comedy and cabaret. Supporting our employees is essential in doing so, and Equipsme is helping us achieve that.”