Twenty years ago, a diagnosis of a long-term health condition often signalled the end of an employee’s working life. But, with the default retirement age removed and more people developing long-term conditions, employers must find ways to support these individuals in the workplace.

Employers are seeing more and more people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, mental health issues and cancer. Losing this experience isn’t good, so there are business advantages to supporting them in the workplace.  While policies and procedures are important to set a framework for supporting employees with long-term health conditions, a personal touch is essential too.

Offering flexibility goes a long way to supporting these employees. Morag Livingston, head of group risk and wellbeing at Secondsight, explains: “Rather than force an employee into a position where they have to go off sick, adapt their hours and work duties so they can stay in work.”

Employee benefits are also a valuable tool, with products such as cash plans, medical insurance and employee assistance plans (EAPs) helping employees access treatment and support that might stabilise a long-term condition.

“When it comes to health, everyone wants something different,” says Livingston. “Often offering [benefits] on a flexible basis also means there’s access to a wider range of benefits, even if they’re funded by the employee.”

Read more of Morag’s comments and the article in full here.

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