Unum launches Sick Pay Insurance

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Unum has launched Sick Pay Insurance (SPI), a new group protection product to help employers and employees manage short breaks from work due to illness and injury.

SPI provides employees with a regular monthly income if they are off sick for up to 12 months, and includes access to Unum's Employer Assistance Programme (EAP) and rehabilitation service.

Unum has said SPI also helps employers to smooth the volatile costs of sickness absence through a set monthly premium.

Research shows that sickness absence costs businesses £600 per employee per year, on average. Unum is launching SPI in response to employer demand for support in managing these costs.

The new product, which is designed to complement existing sick pay schemes and long-term Income Protection, has been trialled through selected brokers since February. Unum will now offer SPI through all intermediary channels following a warm response from employers.

SPI can be tailored to suit the employer, with a choice of deferred periods - from 1 to 4 weeks - and a variety of payment periods from 12 to 52 weeks. In addition, employers can choose from a range of benefit amounts to replace a percentage of an employee's earnings, up to a maximum of £6,000 per month.

Marco Forato, chief marketing officer of Unum, said: "We are the UK market leader in long-term income protection, but our customers - particularly small and mid-size employers - have told us that short-term sickness absence is as much, or even a greater, concern to them.

"In response, we have developed SPI which helps employers to mitigate against the unanticipated sickness absence costs. Employees also benefit as they continue to receive a monthly income and have access to our industry-leading return to work expertise."

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