It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has affected us all in a variety of ways but have you thought about the impact this is having on your company’s wellbeing benefits? Engagement currently with some benefits will be understandably low, however low take up on wellbeing benefits may be down to lack understanding. Have you thought about communicating to your people about how Coronavirus has affected their benefits.
We explore the three impacts COVID-19 has had on your wellbeing benefits all of these are dependent on good communication with your people about what benefits they can use at the moment and which ones may be most helpful to them.
You can also communicate regarding the impact the current climate has had on some of your benefits.
As well as increasing the engagement with the benefits your people may need right now, there is potential for cost savings on benefits your people are unable to use due to COVID-19.
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)
COVID-19 has affected people in different ways. An Employee Assistance programme is likely to be one of the more valuable benefits you offer in these unprecedented times. You might need to adapt your communication strategy to increase engagement with the benefits your people want and need right now.
Promoting your Employee Assistance Program could be really beneficial for your people and your business at the moment. Employees may be seeking support with their financial wellbeing and mental health amongst many other things. The current climate is highly likely to have had some form of impact on them. Ensuring that you promote this benefit to the right people at the right time is crucial, as well as increasing engagement; it will also support your people meaning a happier, healthier workforce which, of course, can have major positive impacts on your business too. Expanding your EAP could be another good step to take - some providers may even offer COVID-19 specific help to your people which is highly likely to be a driver for engagement at the moment.
Private Medical Insurance (PMI)
Initially it might sound strange that usage on PMI is low during COVID-19, although this is the case as many people are unable to access services for non-critical claims and appointments. Most providers’ terms have remained static, meaning you and your people would still be covered under your policy the same as you were before. It is however always worth checking directly with your provider regarding any changes they have made to your policy during these times.
It is, of course, more difficult to get appointments for non-critical cases so how much this benefit will be used will likely fall hugely during the current COVID-19 restrictions. It may be worth having a conversation with your provider to see what options you have in regards to this. Whilst unlikely you will be able to make any instant savings here without cancelling your policy, creating good communication with your people about their PMI during uncertain times. Having a period of low claims, should you scheme be claims related my mean a lower premium at the next renewal as a result of a year of below average claims.
This should be something to speak to provider about as your non-insured benefits are likely to have little or no take up at all at present. You may be able to reduce or remove the benefits temporarily, saving your business some money throughout these difficult times.
Benefits you offer your people, like childcare vouchers and gym memberships aren’t being used, for obvious reasons (they can’t). You should have these conversations with your provider and they probably have lots of helpful information on their website so it’s worth checking there too.
In summary, when approaching the effect that the current climate has had on your wellbeing benefits, the first thing you should do is speak to your providers – they will know the facts when it comes to your specific policy so it’s always worth picking up the phone if you have any questions. Secondly, it is to communicate what you know about the impacts with your people and this could be really easy as many providers have support pages tailored to your people with helpful guidance and FAQ’s on the impact COVID-19 has had on their benefits and you may find some of this information on our COVID-19 Resource Centre too. Lastly, it’s always important in challenging times to see if there are any savings to be made. You and your employees may be paying for benefits which are unable to be used due to COVID-19 so again it’s definitely worth having a conversation about.