Press releases

Legal & General show back to work rates boosted by early intervention.

Diane Buckley - Managing Director - Group Risk
Diane Buckley
Managing Director
Group Risk

18 May 2011

Diane Buckley - Managing Director - Group Risk
Diane Buckley
Managing Director
Group Risk

In 2009 Legal & General saw 54% of individuals able to return to work within the first six months of absence, compared to 50% in 2008.

When notified of the absence within six weeks, the return to work rates climbed to 67% compared to 49% when notified later.

The figures highlight the importance of early notification and reinforce the idea that six weeks is a tipping point in helping people get back to work. Early notification enables Legal & General to provide appropriate specialist treatment and support to help the individual back to work. Legal & General is the only company to incentivise employers that notify long term absences (those over four weeks) by the sixth week of absence. Since it was introduced 5 years ago, over £1 million has been paid back to companies as a reward for simply notifying absences early.

Legal & General has built up a team of specialist partners to help get people back to work. For example, employees who are absent from work because of stress are offered up to 24 sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) from CBT Services Limited, a highly-respected provider. Over 76% of such employees were able to return to work within 18 months of diagnosis.

These figures further show that early intervention can help employers and employees. Legal & General recently published research that showed that family doctors were routinely seeing patients who had been dismissed from their job due to ill health.

Commenting on the statistics Diane Buckley, Managing Director of Legal & General’s Group Income Protection, said:
“These statistics are very encouraging and show that early intervention on our part as an insurance provider can very much enable individuals to receive the assistance, treatment, and support necessary to re-enter employment without massive cost to their employer, or to the taxpayer.”

Mick Gillingham of CBT Services Ltd, commented: “These figures show again that specialist support can help employers and employees. We work with people who are dealing with mental health issues every day – they tell us how important this approach can be in helping them get back into the workplace.”


L&G’s approach to getting people back to work

  • Every year, around 350,000 make a transition from work to incapacity benefits - many of these people could, and want, to go back to work (Working for a Healthier Britain, Dame Carol Black’s Review Of The Health Of Britain’s Working Age Population, March 2008). Responsible employers can look after their staff by supplementing state sickness pay with enhanced and prolonged sick pay at a reasonable cost. L&G’s Group Income Protection, Workplace Recovery, can provide additional benefits in the form of early intervention and rehabilitation to help employees back into the workforce more quickly and effectively.
  • Group Protection (or Group Risk) benefits are provided by employers to their employees. They provide employee benefits that are paid if an employee dies in service or while they are unable to work because of illness or injury. The Group Protection market covers approximately 1.8 million people for income protection insurance and over 7.3 million people for life insurance cover. Legal & General’s GIP policy, Workplace Recovery, has a proven track-record of helping employees make the journey back into work. Our Group Income Protection portfolio is already large and growing. We have over 180,000 people covered by a Group Income Protection Policy. Of those covered, approximately 2,000 benefit from our rehabilitation services every year.

The need for specialist intervention: 15% of GPs often see patients who have been dismissed from their job during an illness

  • Britain’s family doctors routinely see patients who have been dismissed from their job during an illness. The new findings, in research conducted by ComRes on behalf of Legal & General, show how some employers are struggling to manage workplace ill health and absence. The survey also shows that 50% of GPs saw patients who have been dismissed from their job during an illness ‘a few times a year’.

The Government’s sickness and absence review

  • These survey figures are released at a time when the government is beginning to review the way it handles absence in the workplace. The review, announced by the Department of Work and Pensions, is led by Dame Carol Black and David Frost.
  • The review, which is jointly sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, will include a panel of experts from business, trade unions and health representatives and will be conducted in the context of the Growth Agenda.
  • It will also feed into the wider Employment Law Review, which is looking at measures to reduce red tape and remove the burdens on business, encourage growth and maximise flexibility for employers and employees.
  • Also announced is an additional £12 million of funding for health and work programmes, including the Fit for Work Service and Occupational Health Advice lines. Both have already proved highly successful in providing support for both employers and individuals in the early stages of sickness absence.

Notes to editors

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.

Legal & General Assurance Society Limited. Registered office: One Coleman Street, London EC2R 5AA. Registered in England No. 166055.


For further comment please contact Alyson Bowcott on 01737 374443 or, or Emily Hamilton at Westbourne Communications on 020 3397 0146, 07828 501877 or Emily.hamilton@westbournecoms.commailto:


Year Return to Work Rate when notified after 6 weeks Return to Work Rate when notified within 6 weeks Overall Return to Work Rate
2008 46% 68% 50%
2009 49% 67% 54%


For more information please contact:

Alyson Bowcott

Alyson Bowcott
PR Manager, Legal & General Group

t: +44 (0) 20 3124 2092
m: +44 (0) 7764 582574

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