Making the most of workplace benefits

Quite often, it is not until we have experienced a difficult situation like an accident, illness or COVID-19-related events that we start to appreciate employer-provided benefits and leave policies that protect income and jobs. Below are three points to consider  that can help you be better prepared and protected for unexpected situations at workplace.

1. Know what you have now

While reading your benefits package is probably not super exciting, investing the time now can make a big difference later. Start by understanding what is currently offered by your employer, or your spouse’s or partner’s employer. This will help you make informed decisions and could even illuminate programmes such as mental health support or income protection that may not have seemed relevant months ago. Also be aware of any benefits changes related to COVID-19.

2. Prevention and rehabilitation matter

Along with the financial stress imposed by COVID-19, employees are facing physical, mental and social health consequences, too. From having fewer opportunities for physical activity and social interaction to feeling anguish over the suffering or isolation of loved ones, every element of holistic well-being is being tested.

Participating in home exercise programmes, virtual social gatherings and seeking mental health support are all ways to stay healthy during these challenging times. You can also take advantage of creative programmes employers are offering such as nutritional recipes, fitness challenges, telehealth opportunities which offer counseling.

Moreover, when returning from a leave of absence, employees should understand the return-to-work programmes offered by their employer, which are designed to keep you healthy after they are back on the job. These programmes may offer flexible work hours, technology equipment accommodations, training opportunities, and mental and financial wellness support to address related stressors.

3. Prepare for future decision-making

Employers are continuously reviewing the benefits they offer their employees, and you’ll have the opportunity in 2020 to make new choices for the coming year. In advance, take the time to think about how you could build out your coverage for the future.  It’s also important to examine your benefits package for wellness programmes that can help support physical, mental and social health, in addition to your financial health.

4. Acting today for tomorrow

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call on the vital importance of leave and insurance, which offer protection against the unknown.These events can impact how employees make benefits decisions. By looking through the lens of holistic well-being, options that sustain not just their financial health, but their mental, physical and social health too will be a priority to feel protected in good times and bad. -BPT