Aviva: Rehab getting 88pc of workers back to work

Almost 9 out of 10 employees who engaged with rehabilitation services offered through Aviva’s group income protection (GIP) products made a successful return to work, according to figures from the insurer released today.

Aviva says 88 per cent of employees that called it for rehabilitation support or to make a claim made a successful return to work or were able to remain in work after an intervention.

The insurer says it has increased the number of employees supported by 46 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015.

Mental health cases now represent 57 per cent of all of Aviva’s rehabilitation cases, with 85 per cent of all employees requiring support for mental health conditions making a successful return to work within the deferred period.

Three quarters of all employees supported made their return to work within the deferred period – the six month window beyond which typically only 20 per cent of employees make a successful return to work within 5 years, says Aviva. All employees referred for rehabilitation were provided with case management support.

Aviva says cancer represents 20 per cent of new rehabilitation referrals, with musculoskeletal disorders representing 19 per cent. It says 76 per cent of all employees requiring support made a return to work within the deferred period – an increase of 16 per cent on 2015.

ABI and Group Risk Development industrywide protection claims statistics are expected to be released next week.

Aviva managing director of group protection Steve Bridger says: “I’m really pleased to see the success we’ve had helping people with mental health issues. For too long there’s been a stigma around mental health problems with people too scared to speak out or ask for help. Our own research has found that a quarter of people have taken time off work with stress but blamed it on a physical illness.

“Early intervention through GIP can mean the difference between staying in work and dealing with a problem with the support of trained professionals, or taking an extended period of time off work and trying to deal with it alone. The figures we have released show the real value of what we do.”

“Once an employee leaves the workplace for a prolonged period without these support services, there is a real risk of them not returning to work in any capacity.  This is where they then become one of the many people caught in the disability employment gap.”