Canada Life is urging employers to offer group income protection as an employee benefit in light of the Government’s welfare reform bill, which is due to be introduced this month.
The company says that the reform will replace the existing incapacity benefit with employment support allow-ance, which could result in many people receiving lower benefits.
Group legislation manager Howard Rayner says the welfare reform bill, which is aimed at getting more people back into work, will bring a shake-up for people who rely on benefits. He says people who are severely disabled following a workplace injury will be eligible for higher benefits as they cannot undertake any form of work. However, those who are deemed to be still able to work will have their benefits reduced if they do not show a willingness to engage in the work-related activities that their disability allows.
Rayner says: “Now is an opportune time for employers to review their scheme benefits before the reform and to seriously consider introducing group income protection to their benefits package. With fewer people eligible for incapacity benefits, group income protection is set to become much more valuable for employees.
“It is also very important that intermediaries take this opportunity to give their clients advance warning that the reform is due to come into place and to inform them of the proposed changes.”