How businesses can adapt to the new duty of care to drive recruitment and retention

The COVID-19 pandemic will in time leave many legacies on society, including a heightened awareness of the importance of physical and mental health and wellbeing . Moreover, government and public health experts are reporting a clear link between health, weight and the impact of COVID-19 on those infected; with NHS campaigns launched to galvanise the public to act now.

Whilst employers have always had a duty of care for their employees, enhancing the care available is being prioritised like never before. Demonstrating long term support for employee wellbeing is also increasingly high on the agenda when it  comes to retaining and attracting talent. Candidates’ financial motivations are now balanced with an expectation that employers will support their quest for good physical and mental health.

So what measures can businesses put in place to help look after employee health and demonstrate their commitment to wellbeing without breaking the bank?

The high cost of traditional private health insurance has created a perception that providing health benefits for employees is beyond the budgets of many businesses. However, there are cost-effective alternatives available. For example, health care cash plans such as those provided by Bradford-based Sovereign Health Care provide an inexpensive, accessible way for businesses to offer health and wellbeing support to every employee from just a few pounds per month. Traditionally these  plans work by paying employees cash back towards their everyday health costs such as dental treatment, eye tests, glasses/contact lenses, physiotherapy and much more. Many of these treatments are used on a proactive basis by employees, but cash plans can do so much more.

Providers such as Sovereign have seen increased demand for  benefits which give individuals immediate support with other health issues and cash plans now include 24/7 access to a GP and confidential counselling. These services allow employees to deal proactively with many of the pressures created by the pandemic including return to work issues such as stress and child care, family and relationship matters, health concerns such as nutrition, anxiety and depression, and financial worries such as debt management, benefits, tax and budgeting.

Sovereign Health Care Chief Executive, Russ Piper, said: “As businesses move into a new way of operating post-crisis, the more enlightened are seeing this as an opportunity to strengthen their business and reinvent their employee offering. Health care cash plans offer an effective way to support employee health and wellbeing and boost recruitment and retention.”

For more information about the options available for your business, email or visit