As we move into 2023, it looks like more people will be demanding WFH as the default setting in most office based jobs. Many GPs and healthcare workers also want the same hing. Flexibility on working hours can be great, but it poses challenges on data security, management of teams and potential isolation/overlooking for employees, leading to tribunal claims in the future. Then there’s the issue of workplace insurance in terms of employee safety, accidents, claims, employer liability etc.
Here are some insights from Russell Brown, Senior Consulting Manager, Sovos
Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the world of work as we know it, with many employees seeking greater flexibility and a healthy work-life balance. This has led to a dramatic shift away from the traditional full-time five-days-a-week office culture. A Gartner study found that beyond the pandemic, 48% of the UK workforce will retain the remote working element to some extent, up from a previous 30%. So what exactly does this mean for business insurance across the UK market?
The current state of business insurance in the UK
Employers’ Liability insurance remains a crucial part of safeguarding your business and employees today. This type of insurance protects you from claims that may arise from incidents at the workplace, potentially resulting in claims having to be settled. In the aftermath of the pandemic, employers will need to extend their coverage to include workers’ homes as well as the office and other work sites. This will help to ensure that your business is fully protected against any potential liability claims.
It’s clear that the fallout from Covid-19 will be affecting us for a long-time to come. As a result, employers need to consider the future working arrangements they need to put in place – this will vary depending on the type of business you are operating. Re-evaluating these arrangements will ensure that you are prepared for the lasting effects of the pandemic that we are likely to see for years to come. Different organisations will have different requirements, so it’s important that employers take the time to assess what their specific needs are.
Taking this into account, many organisations are already currently reviewing and rethinking their future working arrangements, with some already implementing hybrid working models. Given the advantage of convenience and efficiency that comes with hybrid working, it is unlikely that there will be a full-time return to office-based working in the foreseeable future.
Experts from Taylor Benefits Insurance added: “Group employee insurance can help your employees save money by getting a discount for many people at once. With more people switching to hybrid work, they may prefer to go on a plan themselves, as work compensation plans may be decreased due to employees no longer having to physically be at work”
Will insurance companies see a change in demand as a result of the widespread transition to hybrid work?
A priority for businesses should be to identify their potential risks and exposures when it comes to insurance coverage, especially during this period of continuous and unprecedented change. working conditions. One of the biggest considerations should be how hybrid working arrangements will affect their current policies.
So what does this mean for your business exactly? Well, Employers’ Liability and other mandatory insurance will still be required, but certain requirements are likely to have a greater impact on the insurance coverage and premiums. This is something to keep in mind as when working on your business’ plans for the future.
What’s likely to happen is that regular health and safety checks will become a requirement for companies to carry out for insurers. This way, businesses can be sure that their working environment fulfils each of the company’s rules and regulations. Through maintaining consistent compliance and storing the right documentation on file, businesses can avoid having claims rejected in the event of an employee accident. They’ll be fully prepared to provide insurers with the relevant evidence if an employee is injured while working from home.
What’s more, the traditional “9 to 5” workday is no longer the norm; many people now have schedules that are much more flexible and much more integrated with our lives outside of work, to accommodate things like childcare and other personal commitments. With this in mind, employers and insurers for accident claims should take into account that accidents could also occur outside of standard working hours.
Other insurance policies that maybe be impacted by changes in working arrangements, include:
· Corporate travel insurance policies: companies must guarantee that the insurer will pay any claims made by insured employees under these policies for business travel affected by COVID-19.
· Corporate health insurance policies: employers must ensure that the insurer will pay claims made by insured individuals and their dependents under these policies pursuant to COVID-19.
What’s the next step?
Having the right insurance protection in place will prove to be pivotal when faced with workplace changes. If coverages are incorrect, companies can be met with severe consequences. To prevent any future disruption for organisations and their employees, companies should begin the process of assessing their insurance plans for the year ahead, sooner rather than later.
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