While eight out of ten employees could not get by on less than half salary, just 40% of employers offer this level of financial support to those on long term sick leave, research has shown.
A new 360 degree "early intervention prevention" report from Aviva UK suggests without further borrowing, the average British household could access just £914 of disposable cash - less than two weeks of the average weekly household expenditure of £471.
As a result, the majority of employees (78%) would be prepared to jeopardise their long term health by returning to work from sickness absence before they're 100% fit.
Money worries were the root cause, as 49% said they would return early if they thought their family couldn't cope financially while a further 11% claimed that fear of losing their job would hasten their return to work.
Kevin Murdoch, Senior proposition development manager at Aviva UK Health comments: "The disturbing findings in our survey highlight just how poorly equipped to survive a period of long term absence many of us are and how this can lead us to make decisions we might live to regret."
Kevin Murdoch continues: "We urge people to take steps to protect themselves if they are unable to work as a result of illness or injury. Surely this is a worthwhile investment." He concludes.
Industry figures suggest an income protection gap of £190 billion and the gap is still increasing. Last year, there were over 2.4 million people aged between 18-64 claiming incapacity benefit4. Of those, over 80% were claiming for more than 6 months and 40% claiming for more than 5 years
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