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Are you prepared for a long-term absence?

15 million working days were lost in the UK last year due to stress, anxiety and depression. Every business no matter the size will at some point have to deal with employee absence, and it can be difficult, especially for small businesses, to adjust when it hits. Businesses across the UK are spending an estimated £3.1bn every year on employees who are unable to work due to long-term illness or injury. A recent report(1) found that a third of employers rely exclusively on the NHS to manage long-term employee sickness absence - a further 30% have no support systems in place for employees with long-term sickness absence as a result of mental health.

Stress and mental health has been on the increase since 2009 to the point where it is now the main cause of absence in a quarter of companies. Common causes of stress at work are problems with line managers, poor communication, and lack of training and soft skills. Employee Assistance Programmes are both an affordable and effective tool to allow staff discuss their problems and receive advice on business or personal subjects alike, advice can often be the first step in the prevention. Employee Assistance Programmes can be found built into a number of employee benefits such as Private Medical Insurance, Health Cash Plans, Group Income Protection policies and of course, an integral part of all Occupational Health services.

A well throught-out health and wellness strategy is vital to ensuring your employees wellbeing, and coupled with appropriate health and protection benefits, can help to ensure that your business is not crippled by the costs of

long-term absence.

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