Legal & General has launched a new care concierge service for group protection customers.
This online hub will help employers find appropriate care for relatives with advice on a range of issues: including housing, means-testing, care provision and funding. This covers those looking for additional support for parents or other family members at home, as well needing those needed full-time care in a nursing home.
This is available to all group protection customers and close family at no extra cost. As well as the online hub members have access to a telephone consultation, assistance with care planning and guidance on typical local authority funding available. There is also the option to access a ‘premium’ concierge service at discounted rates.
L&G points out that with an ageing population and complicated care support systems in the UK, it is frequently adult children who have to manage their elderly parents’ care needs. The situation has worsened during the Covid-19 crisis, with Carers UK estimating an extra 4.5 million people have become informal carers since the pandemic began – taking the total to 13.6 million.
The employees who usually have to steer their way through the care system tend to be workers aged 45-65; many with dependent children themselves. Currently one in seven working adults has caring responsibilities, but this number is likely to increase as the segment of the population aged over 85 is set to double over the next 20 years.
This issue is having an impact on businesses with almost one in two employees (49 per cent) taking sick days to support family with an elderly care need.
Support for these employers is poor, with 88 per cent of employees saying they don’t receive additional paid care leave, and a third (33 per cent) not benefitting from any supportive employment policies.
James Walker, head of product and proposition of group protection, Legal & General says: “The ‘sandwich generation’ is under increasing pressure due to caring for elderly parents and dependent children while holding down a full or part-time job.
“It’s frequently the case that something has to give, and this is often the job either through absence or resignation — estimates show that 2.6 million employees have left employment due to a caring role.
“Giving the employees of our group protection customers access to Legal & General’s new care concierge service will help these people by providing a range of support and advice so they can traverse the complicated landscape of elderly care.
“This could help reduce absence, improve retention and allow employers to benefit from a more engaged and productive workforce.”