Legal & General welcomes today’s announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak of a package of initiatives to help protect and create jobs for 16-24 year olds, including a £1,000 cash ‘bonus’ for firms hiring young people into traineeship programmes from September.
8 Jul 2020
Colin Fitzgerald, Distribution Director – Group Protection, Legal & General: "Business recovery now rests on having engaged and motivated employees. This, in turn, will help improve the lives of everyone in the UK: creating real jobs and a better infrastructure to help overcome the current economic catastrophe and come out the other side a more responsible and sustainable society.
Structured training programmes will go a long way towards attracting the right candidates to the right job in the right company, and will no doubt prove particularly attractive to more cash-strapped SMEs. But it’s also important to remember that training and development should form part of a wider employee wellbeing programme: a programme built upon a clearly articulated purpose; with reward and benefits programme at its heart; designed and communicated in line with employee needs; and hardwired to business goals. The pandemic hasn’t changed any of this. What it has done - especially during lockdown - is made leaders realise the crucial importance of employee wellbeing to productivity and profitability.
Employees now entering the workforce for the first time place a premium on how companies care for them. How employers respond to wellbeing issues like stress, burnout and uncertainty will be a hallmark of their attitude towards responsibility and sustainability. Yet while 61% of people trust their employer to look after their wellbeing, only 29% of HR leadership have a health and wellbeing strategy in place.1
There’s a common misconception that that wellbeing programmes are too costly, especially for SMEs. But they’re only too costly where benefits are ill thought through and not communicated well.
It’s telling that SMEs (50-249 employees) pay an average £1,078 per employee per year on one-off rewards, such as celebrations and vouchers.2 When, for around £650 per employee per year, they could have life insurance, income protection and critical illness cover.3 Such a package – communicated in a personalised and targeted way - would not only afford the business and its people financial peace of mind, but would also give employees the tools they need to keep happy and healthy: for example, immediate-access to legal, financial, physical and emotional information and support via Employee Assistance Programmes.
This might also extend to mental health related resources, training and best practice to help reduce stigma and support employees to thrive at work, such as that provided by Legal & General’s long-running Not A Red Card initiative. All of this would also obviously bring to the employer a competitive advantage in terms of recruitment, retention and engagement.
Our future workforce is searching for a genuine shared purpose and the smart organisations – those that hang on to employee wellbeing lessons learnt during lockdown – will be the winners."
Notes to editors
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with international businesses in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. With almost £1.3 trillion in total assets under management*, we are the UK’s largest investment manager for corporate pension schemes and a UK market leader in pension risk transfer, alternative asset origination, life insurance, workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.
* at 30 June 2021
Legal & General Insurance (LGI) has been offering life insurance cover since 1836 and is the UK’s number one individual life insurance provider. Our group protection business in the UK offers life insurance and income protection products to individuals through their employers and we offer term-life insurance in the US. We now have over 5.5 million UK life insurance customers, 1.8 million people in group protection schemes and approaching 1.3 million US term-life insurance policyholders. Here in LGI, we protect our customers and their loved ones throughout life and death.
(As of June 2021)