Over half of all employees have been made redundant or suffered long-term illness during their working life, according to new research from MetLife Employee Benefits.
Its study shows 32% of workers have suffered redundancy at some stage in their career – which equates to more than 9.3 million staff – while 23% or 6.7 million people have been off work for periods longer than four weeks.
Men are more likely to have suffered redundancy with 36% of male employees losing their jobs compared to 27% of female staff while women are more likely to have suffered long-term illness with 26% of female staff being forced to take time off compared with 21% of men.
MetLife believes the research highlights the value of insurance to protect income – particularly as its research shows 41% of workers admit they could not afford to live on Statutory Sick Pay which is currently £86.70 a week. Another 18% believe they could survive a month.
Tom Gaynor, employee benefits director at MetLife UK, said: “The ongoing tough economic climate has increased the financial pressures on all workers and the risk of redundancy through no fault of your own is real with a third of workers suffering redundancy during their working career.
“The risk of long-term ill-health during a working life is also an issue that employees need to be aware of and to guard against where possible. Many employers are generous but it is clear that Statutory Sick Pay would be a financial shock for millions.
“Insurance that protects against uncertainties is essential and can be very valuable as part of a well-designed employee benefits package.”
Across the country, workers in Scotland reported the highest rate of long-term ill health at 28% falling to 18% – the lowest rate – for those living in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
But workers in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are the most likely to have suffered redundancy with 39% reporting losing their jobs, while employees in London are the least likely to be made redundant at 21%.