Self-insuring your absences and GIP. The difference.

Woman in an orange hi-viz vest laughing whilst on a building site (blurred background)

A happy workforce creates a loyal workforce: the group income protection (GIP) difference for SMEs

Kier Saunders; Key Account Manager, Group Protection Distribution
Author: Kier Saunders
Key Account Manager
Group Protection


Mon 11th September 2023

Illness and injury has the potential to turn into long term absence. We understand that. And long-term absence is likely to create challenges for employers. Especially SMEs. 23.3 million sick days are lost in the UK due to musculoskeletal problems. While 41.5 million days are lost to cancer, diabetes and Covid*.

The problem

Typically SMEs don’t have a sickness absence policy in place. Making employers wonder “How do I support my people financially? How much of their salary should I pay? And for how long?”

These situations can be stressful. For both an employer and employee. And it can have a negative impact on the remaining employees too. If the absent employee is being treated poorly it can create a negative culture within the organisation. Leading to increased staff turnover and employers spending more time recruiting and training new staff, instead of supporting their existing ones.

An employee who’s supported when they’re unable to work is more likely to remain loyal to the company when they return - sharing their positive experience with other employees. Win-win for your clients.

GIP: The easy solution

Having GIP allows employers to assess their sickness absence policy, as they’ll have chosen a deferred period for cover to start.

So the employer knows that if an employee is absent for a long period, they’ll be compensated. This allows them to plan for temporary cover whilst that employee’s recovering.

But there’s more to GIP than the financial side. When an insured employee is unable to work and needs to take time off, AIG’s vocational rehabilitation programme is there to help them get back on their feet and into work when they’re ready. Provided by our partner, Proclaim Care, their impartial service works to create a realistic return-to-work plan tailored to the employee. Whether it’s support, advice, treatment or guidance, rehabilitation specialists are on hand to help – not to mention they’re all qualified medical professionals.

All employees would also have unlimited access to online, telephone and video GP appointments, as well as a range of health and wellbeing services through our Smart Health services. Available 24/7 and at no additional cost. This all supports employees at work and reduces absence rates.

Having a GIP policy in place helps employees and their families at a time when they’re most financially vulnerable. AIG’s group income protection offering provides the tips and tools needed to help employees with their physical, mental and financial wellbeing, as well as paying up to 80% of an employee’s salary, if they’re unable work. Having GIP makes all the difference.

With over 5.5 million SMEs** in the UK (small and medium-sized enterprises) that make up 99.9% of private sector businesses. When people are happier, healthier and at their best, businesses are too.


Smart Health is provided to AIG Life Limited customers by Teladoc Health. We want to let you know that these services are non-contractual, which means they don’t form part of your insurance contract with us. If our partnership with Teladoc Health ends, these services could be changed or withdrawn in the future.