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Good health is truly everything and so ill health can have far reaching consequences for employees and employers alike.

In this edition we focus on what you can do to protect your business

should the unexpected happen.

We also meet Lucy Meredith, one of the newest members of the Excellect Team.


We’ve all seen the headlines about the strain the NHS is under, and the waiting list which currently sits at 7.3 million people. None of us want to have first-hand experience of being on that waiting list, particularly if in pain or with a progressive disease like cancer which needs prompt treatment. But have you ever been in the position where an employee cannot work whilst waiting for treatment, and this has affected your business?

Recently we spoke to one business where it had, and it was the reason he decided Private Medical Insurance wasn’t just a “nice to have” for his business. There were key employees for whom it was a “need to have.”

Here is the story:

The growing company was an office interior design and fit specialist. Once design and budget was agreed, their work involved travelling to client premises to complete the fit outs. Unfortunately one of their senior Project Managers (who was needed to oversee everything) needed a knee replacement, and had been waiting on the NHS list for 2 years.

The issues with his knee made the Project Manager almost immobile. It meant that throughout that 2 years he wasn’t able to work on any major projects which caused a lot of disruption to the business. And being an SME there was no one else with the skills and expertise they could rely on. The business really felt the effect on their client relationships as well as financially.

Had Private Medical Insurance been in place, an immediate referral could have been made for a consultation leading to action to initiate the operation to replace the knee. The employee could have returned to effective, productive work more quickly, and the business could have continued its growth plans. Having experienced the financial impact this situation caused, the owner was able to weigh up the impact of not having cover in place versus the cost of it.


Hi to Lucy who joined Excellect in September 2022. Let’s find out how things have been going?

Ann: What brought you to work for Excellect?

Lucy: Originally I started my A-Levels at college but I soon realised that it wasn’t for me!! Having done Business Studies for GCSE and really enjoying it, I knew that was the way I wanted to go. So I decided to do BTEC Level 3 Business, and I completed the year. My choice was then to work towards going to University or to opt for an Apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship won and whilst looking for the right opportunity I worked in retail for a while until I found Excellect!!!

Ann: And what have you been doing since you started 6 months ago?

Lucy: Lots and lots of training!!! Day to day I’m involved with our renewals process, gathering data and quotes. It keeps me busy and there is lots of telephone work. I’ve also been getting involved with Excellect’s social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I have a real passion for digital marketing and so I have loved that.

Ann: And outside of work, what do you get up to?

Lucy: I like socialising with my friends and family, going on holidays, and walking my dog Sky who is a Golden Labrador.

Ann: What do you think the next 6 months will bring? In fact what do you hope it will bring?

Lucy: Working hard to complete my Apprenticeship within the year and preparing for my exams. I also want to continue learning about everything at Excellect, and keep very involved with social media. I’ve also got to come to terms with not being a teenager any more when I am 20 at the end of the year. Plus I have a holiday in Majorca to look forward to!!


When we talk to businesses every day about the benefits they offer we always ask about sick pay. Many SME businesses offer Statutory Sick Pay only which from 6 April 2023 is £109.40 per week and which can be paid for up to 28 weeks. But when asked about what really happens in practice, the answer is frequently different. Businesses tend to take a discretionary approach depending on the person and the reasons for the absence. In a small business where employees are often known personally it can be hard not to assist them through periods of illness. They are also keen for that employee to return back to them once recovered, rather than lose them to another employer because they had not felt supported.

Many employees cut it very fine when it comes to their finances. With rising mortgage/rent and bills, combined with the lack of contingency planning or safety net they can find themselves in dire straits very quickly should they be unable to work and earn much needed income. The average salary in the UK in 2023 according to Jobted is £29,600 per annum equating to £1950 per month (although other sources quote a higher average). So an employer choosing to pay someone on a discretionary basis for a few months will soon start to accrue pretty sizeable costs as well as potentially having to pay someone else to cover the work of the person who is ill. This is where Group Income Protection can really play a part. It won’t help with short term absences but for employees who are going be absent through illness or accident for longer than 8 weeks (there is a choice of deferment periods) it provides replacement income. It allows the business to substitute the unknown cost of continuing with discretionary sick pay, with the known cost of an insurance premium. This will also help if sick pay is contractual. Typically, most providers will allow cover for up to 75-80% of pre-disability earnings (there needs to be a financial incentive to return to work!!) and there is a choice of payment periods. In recent years many insurers have introduced fixed payment periods starting at 2 years, meaning that premiums can be kept low (when compared to payment up to retirement age). This makes Group Income Protection a benefit that is often surprisingly affordable. And when it comes to employee retention, it’s a big reason why someone might decide to stay rather than leave so it can be a differentiator. Getting quotes is free so worth taking a look.


From Steph, Independent Financial Adviser April 2023:

“A big thank you to the team at Excellect for looking after all mine/my partners insurance requirements. The team at Excellect have gone above and beyond the service that I expected to receive from an insurance broker. Their experience and broad-based knowledge of all aspects of insurance were of great assistance in providing the right insurance for our circumstances with the best insurance coverage at the right price. This is an insurance broker who truly partners with their client, I appreciate the great service that the team always provide. Thank you."


“Everyone Benefits – through personality, professionalism and passion. Employees are at the heart of every successful business

– you are at the heart of ours.”


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