Enhanced benefits for Norwich Union Healthcare group income protection aim to cut sickness absence

Article date: 30 October 2002

Employees covered by Norwich Union’s Healthcare’sGroup Income Protection policy now have access to GP and stress-counselling helplines as part of the company’s commitment tosupport effective absence management.

The two confidential helplines operate 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year, giving employees a valuable source of advice, andhelping employers to take a more proactive approach to lookingafter their workforce.

The GP Helpline – which provides round-the-clock access toadvice direct from a GP – has been available to Norwich UnionHealthcare’s private medical insurance customers since1999.

It provides two key services. If someone becomes ill, they canspeak to a friendly and sympathetic General Practitioner who willgive them a relaxed and unhurried consultation over the phone.

Or if general healthcare information is required, trained nursesare available to provide it.

The Stress Counselling Helpline aims to help alleviate theproblems caused by work-related stress – now estimated toaffect about one in five workers* and resulting in the loss ofapproximately 6.7million working days each year in Britain.**

Nick Homer of Norwich Union Healthcare said: “Many absencemanagement solutions fail to address employee welfare issues,concentrating instead on the financial reassurance a group incomeprotection policy can give an employer.

“But given the pressures of today’s workingenvironment we believe it is essential to provide an incapacitatedemployee with as much support as possible.

“By introducing these helplines to our Group IncomeProtection policy we believe intermediaries’ clients will bebetter placed to address the issue of absenteeism – andintermediaries will be in a better position to realise the fullpotential of this market.”

The GP Helpline helps minimise time spent away from the officeby enabling someone who feels unwell at work to call for advice ora consultation from their office. This can avoid the need for themto visit their own doctor, and encourage prevention rather thancure in many instances.

Providing people with access to trained counsellors who canprovide counselling, advice and information on how to manage andovercome stress, may help prevent a problem developing into a majorissue that leads to long-term absence.

All new business Unit Rated Group Income Protection customerswill automatically receive these additional benefits free ofcharge. Any existing Unit Rated Group Income Protection schemeswill receive these helplines at the start of their next premiumreview date.***

* statistics from CBI Report 2002
** Health and Safety Executive press release E206:00
*** Premiums are reviewed every two years

For more information on Norwich Union Healthcare’simproved Group Income Protection Policy, and for agency andcommission terms and applications, intermediaries can contact theirusual Healthcare sales consultant or call: 02380 372277

Press contact:
Louise Zucchi at Norwich Union on 08703 666860/07860 203466

Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union Healthcare is the healthcare arm of NorwichUnion and provides a range of private medical insurance and incomeprotection products to around 750,000 customers. It is one of thelargest providers of income protection and private medicalinsurance in the UK.
  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer offering acomprehensive range of long-term savings and general insuranceproducts.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at www.aviva.com
  • A selection of images is available from the Norwich UnionNewscast site at www.newscast.co.uk
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality interviews.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 73

For all life and pension media enquiries 08703 66 68 73
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

Norwich Union Life Services Limited represents only the NorwichUnion Marketing Group, members of which are regulated by theFinancial Services Authority, for life assurance, pensions andinvestments. Members of the Aviva group

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