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Employee benefits programmes

Providing insurance cover as an employee benefit is a powerful way to recruit and maintain great staff . Making your business more attractive to employees can improve employee satisfaction, assist with wage negotiation and offers a way to reward staff for loyalty and performance.

Employee benefits programmes usually include employer-funded group medical insurance, group life insurance and group income protection insurance

Who uses an employee benefits programme?

Organisations with ten or more staff have the option of offering fully subsidised employee insurance cover through Crombie Lockwood. This includes corporate and commercial businesses including small to medium sized enterprises.

Employer-funded schemes can come with powerful benefits, such as full cover for pre-existing health conditions and heavily discounted premiums. When employees choose to add family members, discounts also apply. For staff members, insurance cover offered through their workplace is easier to obtain and at a significantly lower price than what they’d be able to source as an individual.

Types of employee benefits

Insurance benefits for employees are usually made up of a combination of:

  • Group medical insurance
  • Group life, disablement, and critical illness (trauma) Insurance
  • Group income protection insurance.

Group medical insurance   

Medical insurance benefit generally comes with discounted premiums to employers. It enables staff to get medical insurance without the paperwork and pre-existing health conditions may be covered. Having medical insurance means staff can avoid the long waiting lists of the public health system and receive prompt attention from a private provider. This means they may return to work sooner.

Group life cover  

This is generally the basic building block of a company's employee insurance benefit. Group life Insurance provides death cover for employees at very reasonable rates and has an optional extension for total permanent disablement insurance. This is paid if an insured person is medically assessed as unable to work again. Another optional extension, critical illness (or trauma) Insurance, pays a one-off lump sum if an employee is diagnosed with any critical condition defined in the insurance.

Group income protection

Group income protection provides employees with cover if they become unable to work due to sickness or accident. They will be entitled to receive a regular monthly benefit for their loss of earnings: up to 75% of their pre-disability income. The payments can continue either for a set period, or through to age 65, depending on the option the employer selects.

How employee benefits work  

When setting up their employee benefits, employers can opt for different types of schemes.

Subsidised versus  voluntary schemes  

Compulsory schemes   

With compulsory schemes the employer pays for insurance cover for all eligible employees. As the benefit is free to employees, membership of the scheme is usually mandatory and all employees who fit within the eligibility criteria are included.

Voluntary schemes

With voluntary schemes the premiums are not subsidised by the employer; they are instead paid by the employee. As a result, employees choose whether or not to join.

Partially subsidised schemes

Partially subsidised schemes are voluntary schemes where the employer and employee share the costs. As there is no guaranteed uptake of membership, these types of schemes only attract limited concessions from insurers.

For businesses an employee benefit programme makes a very sound investment.

We have a strong background in voluntary as well as compulsory group medical and group life insurance schemes. Our employee benefits specialists manage schemes of all sizes for corporate and commercial clients throughout New Zealand.

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