Group life benefits are severly lacking in UK businesses, says Stuart Stone


64% of UK businesses do not have agreed procedures for supporting staff diagnosed with a terminal illness new research from MetLife Employee Benefits reveals.

With nearly half of HR departments admitting they don’t have agreed policies to cope in the aftermath of an employee’s death; the need for action is clear. Especially in light of the fact that around 13% of HR departments across the country have had to deal with the death of an employee in the past two years, while roughly a third have had to offer support to a staff member suffering from a family bereavement.

While research shows that HR departments are sympathetic towards bereaved employees.  with 92% saying the offer flexible hours to staff, 24% providing access to helplines through their benefits provider and 13% offering face-to-face counselling.

Despite two in five HR departments surveyed stating that they are considering providing training for line managers to help them support staff and a third saying they will consider introducing specialist support services, there is a consensus that more needs to be done.

MetLife’s Employee Benefits Director, Tom Gaynor, said: “Companies clearly want to be supportive and sympathetic but it is surprising that so many do not have clear policies and procedures in place for bereavement in the workplace. HR departments recognise it is an issue but need support in addressing it.”

To help HR departments in the unenviable situation of staff bereavement; MetLife has launched an advisory toolkit including practical hints and videos designed to help manage the workplace impact.

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