It is that time of year again when handfuls of confetti are strewn around and loved-up couples pledg...
It is that time of year again when handfuls of confetti are strewn around and loved-up couples pledge their devotion to each other in sickness and in health. So why is this commitment so difficult to extend to employer and employee relations?
The results from the latest CBI/Axa survey made for some interesting reading this month. While the average absence fell from 7 to 6.7 days for each employee during 2007, the cost to the public sector reached £20bn. Although the fall in sickness absence is nothing to be proud of, perhaps the old adage that the longest journey begins with the first step rings true here.
The survey confirmed some effective tools for cutting absence were offering private medical insurance to staff and ensuring those on sick leave must wait several days before occupational sick pay kicked in. While this delay may encourage people to think twice about pulling 'sickies', it sounds like a 'one-size-fits-all' approach that penalises the people who are genuinely ill and does little to encourage relations between employers and staff. So, what next? Perhaps, firms should start backing Dame Carol Black's 'fit note' incentive with more gusto.
It appears to have been a month of surveys and reports, not to mention the publication of the industry bible, otherwise known as Swiss Re's Term & Health Watch report. The annual review of personal financial disputes from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has provided more fuel to the payment protection insurance (PPI) fire. The findings showed PPI complaints have increased six-fold over the past year. With the giant reinsurer Swiss Re's recent criticism of the declining income protection market, the news from the FOS will do little to settle ruffled industry feathers.
PS. Johanna Gornitzki is away on holiday.
The news that the ABI and British Medical Association (BMA) agreement on GP report (GPR) fees has broken down will usher in a period of uncertainty.
Lack of innovation investment in the UK insurance market has been highlighted by recognition of RGA's work in the US.
Protection business in 2012 and 2013 will be affected by events this year and some fundamental changes to the way customers policies are priced into the next. Richard Verdin explains.
Employee assistance programmes are in the spotlight due to a schizophrenic approach by government. But as Sue Weir points out, they are backed by solid research.
How will people buy insurance in future? Greg Becker visits the US for developments in online distribution.