An employee benefits advisers has called on insurers to address neglected workplace mental health issues, by building better group income protection rehabilitation and support programmes.
According to Mathew Rann, director of employee benefits at PQR Financial Planning, insurer rehab programmes worked "particularly well" on traditional illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes, but needed to better address rising mental health-related claims.
He said: "I have used these rehab programmes a few times and they are extremely useful for employers because they do not have that internal resource.
"But we have difficulty when it comes to mental health issues. It is a big issue that is not dealt with very well and it is where most of my claims are coming from now."
Legal and general said group IP needed continued innovation to maintain all-important early intervention and get claimants back to work.
The insurer is focusing on developing its group IP rehabilitation and occupational health support.
Vanessa Sallows, underwriting and benefits director of group protection at L&G, said: "Early and relevant support and rehabilitation has a positive and significant impact in helping get employees back into work.
"It is an area that needs to be continually innovated to maintain delivery of early interventions, treatments, rehabilitation and back to work plans."
L&G's team of specialists will now be led by newly-appointed, qualified general nurse Fiona King, who has a strong background in cancer care, palliative care, health and safety and occupational health.
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