Are Your Younger Employees at Increased Risk of a Heart Attack?

Are Your Younger Employees at Increased Risk of a Heart Attack?

A heart attack ruptures a person’s whole life – including their ability to perform at work. Our sister company, Towergate Health & Protection, have noticed an increase in heart attack claims from a younger demographic than before.

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Protect the hearts of your workforce

A heart attack ruptures a person’s whole life – including their ability to perform at work.

Did you know?

  • Every 5 minutes someone is admitted to a UK hospital due to a heart attack¹
  • Coronary heart disease is one of the UK’s leading causes of death and the most common cause of premature death¹
  • Six in 10 businesses are just one key person’s illness or injury away from having to shut down²
  • 94% of businesses recognise they have at least one key person²
  • 8 million days were lost between 2021 and 2022 due to work-related illness and injury³

 

¹www.bhf.org.uk/-/media/files/research/heart-statistics/bhf-cvd-statistics---uk-factsheet.pdf

 ²Majority of SMEs vulnerable to key person loss: Legal & General (covermagazine.co.uk)

 ³Health and safety statistics (hse.gov.uk)

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Reducing your risk of a heart attack

Warning signs

Heart attacks don’t usually happen with no warning; there are tell-tale signs that everyone should listen to, like chest pain, feeling weak, light-headed or faint, experiencing shortness of breath, and more. Employees can have their cholesterol checked at their pharmacy, through their GP, or via the NHS Health Check service which is free to people aged 40-74.

How to reduce the risk of a heart attack

Making lifestyle changes is the best way to reduce your risk of having a heart attack – or, if you’ve already had one, to reduce your risk of it happening again. There are three main steps you can take to help reduce your risk of a heart attack (and stroke):

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  2. Avoid smoking
  3. Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level⁴

⁴www.nhs.uk/conditions/heart-attack/prevention/

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How you can support your people

A preventative approach is the most effective one, but that doesn’t mean your company needs to invest in an expensive benefits programme. There’s a range of support available, from light-touch to comprehensive, but they all come with valuable benefits employees can use in their day-to-day life.

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Business protection

Business protection products such as key person and shareholder protection help to protect your business should the worst happen to key employees, but that’s not all it is. Business protection is loaded with useful benefits – that are either free of charge or come at a low cost – that your workers can take advantage of in day to day life, like:

  • Health checks
  • Second medical opinion services
  • Legal advice services
  • Access to specialist recruitment services
  • Remote GP services
  • Mental wellbeing support

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Income protection

At an average cost of only 0.5% of each employee’s income per month, providing some (or a reasonable level of) income protection is low-cost and ensures that your employees continue to have an income if they can’t come to work. Many policies are also full of useful benefits like:

  • Access to preventative support services to either minimise the chance of sickness absence occurring in the first place, or to minimise the duration of absence should employees become ill
  • Absence support specialists, to work with absent employees on a return-to-work plan
  • Access to an employee assistance programme (EAP) to provide support services for employees for life, money and wellbeing concerns
  • Some providers also offer access to digital GPs, mental health support, physiotherapy and diet, nutrition and exercise guidance.

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Group critical illness

Group critical illness pays a tax-free lump sum to an employee who is diagnosed with a critical illness, including a heart attack, cancer, or stroke.

This type of benefit can be particularly meaningful to employees, reassuring them that they’ll have the funds to cope with any financial problems that might arise as the result of a serious illness.

Group critical illness is affordable for the employer, and is normally an allowable business expense for corporation tax.

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Group life assurance

Group life insurance is one of the most common employer-sponsored benefits, and is often the only way many employees get access to life insurance cover.

This cover gives employees peace of mind knowing that, should the worst happen, their families and dependants will receive a tax-free lump sum to help cover financial commitments.

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Private medical insurance

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to private medical insurance (PMI) because no two businesses are the same. Fortunately, there’s a range of help available to you:

  • Health screenings are designed to assess the health of the employee, and will be able to evaluate the health of their heart so that an appropriate action plan can be formulated
  • Digital GP – one of the first things your employees might do if they’re worried about their health is to consult a doctor – but this option is proving increasingly difficult. But, with PMI, employees can consult a Digital GP from the comfort of their own home at a time that suits them
  • Specialist pathways – some providers offer specialist cardiac pathways especially for those with cardiac concerns.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, contact your usual insurance advisor who can connect you with our Group specialists.