Why Accident and Health cover matters to businesses
Workplaces in Australia are changing. A flexible workforce and an acceptance that a healthy workplace makes a difference to retention is redefining what it means to become a true employer of choice.
Employers must therefore understand and address this issue if they’re to design effective attraction and retention policies to take their organisations into the future, says QBE Accident and Health National Manager Troy Murley.
Heightened health and well-being focus
Greater awareness of stress, mental health and general wellbeing has spurred on employers to reconsider their initiatives and ensure they’re promoting and recognising the importance of a healthy workforce.
Mental health has been particularly in focus over the past decade, Murley says. In 2013, mental disorders surpassed musculoskeletal problems as the main cause of long term work incapacity in Australia.
There are about 7,500 Australians compensated for work-related mental disorders each year according to Safe Work Australia. In addition, the total cost of depression to Australian employers through presenteeism and absenteeism is estimated to be around $6.3 billion per annum. 
From an employer perspective, there’s certainly a heightened awareness of best practice for managing these types of claims, says Murley. And the recovery process can often be difficult for companies that don’t have expertise in-house.
“In many cases, recovery comes down to utilising the right networks to engineer the correct track to recovery as fast as possible,” Murley says. “This is where an Accident and Health cover like QBE Insurance can come in. We believe the best solutions come from a partnership approach between the business and the insurer to foster the best outcome for employees,” Murley says.
People want flexible protection
If people are to be truly committed to their efforts at work, they need to be physically protected to perform to the best of their ability.
From a mental standpoint, they need to feel supported so if an accident happens or if they’re affected from sickness, they have the correct networks and pathway back to recovery, Murley says.
Companies are recognising the importance of Accident and Health insurance to benefit an increasingly mobile and flexible workforce.
Roughly 3.5 million employed Australians work from home on a regular basis with 12.64 per cent working out of office as part of flexible work arrangements.
In addition, today’s global economy calls for Australians to frequently travel for business.
Accident and Health insurance is beneficial to businesses because it protects people from sickness and accidents beyond the limits of physical workplaces, traditional working hours or statutory schemes like Workers Compensation.
“At QBE Insurance, we work with many companies that choose Accident and Health cover because they want to cover all their bases.”
“Businesses want to protect their people no matter where they are. Half of their team may be on the way to a business meeting in Laos, while the other half are hopping on their regular bus to the office. Companies are conscious of protecting everyone as it’s part of their duty of care,” Murley says.
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 Psychosocial safety climate and better productivity in Australian workplaces: Costs, productivity, presenteeism, absenteeism report November 2016