- 64% of adults on furlough received some form of support beyond financial while on furlough
- Top support includes regular communication (58%), virtual check-ins (34%) and improved employee benefits (33%)
- However, 36% say they have not received any support beyond financial from their employer while being on furlough
Nearly two thirds (64%) of furloughed adults have received some form of support beyond financial while being on furlough, research from Canada Life1 today reveals. With the scheme drawing to a close at the end of September, the findings demonstrate employers’ commitment to supporting their employees throughout the pandemic.
Among those workers who received consistent support whilst being furloughed, almost six in ten (58%) say this was through regular communication, followed by virtual check-ins (34%) and improved employee benefits (33%). Over a quarter (26%) were offered new employee benefits and a similar amount (25%) received training.
Some of the employee benefits that have been widely utilised during the pandemic include holistic support services, such as mental health and virtual wellbeing support, according to data2 released by Canada Life from its WeCare support service. Between March and July this year, 55% of employee requests through WeCare were for GP consultations, 20% for get fit programmes, 9% for diet support and 6% for mental health support.
However, not all furloughed workers have been fortunate enough to receive ongoing support throughout the pandemic. More than a third (36%) say they have not received any support beyond financial from their employer while being on furlough, including 27% who say their employer never intended to provide support, and 9% who say they did intend to, but never delivered on their promise. This may be contributing to worry among workers, 51% say their self-confidence has been knocked by being on furlough and 40% say they are dreading going to work after being on furlough.
Dan Crook, protection sales director, Canada Life Insurance, comments: “The events of the last 18 months have put strain on people’s mental, physical and financial health, and these stresses may be heightened as the furlough scheme comes to an end. However, it’s great to see that employers have adopted WeCare and have an approach that puts the needs of their employees first.
“While the furlough scheme may be winding up, it’s likely that the hangover will be felt for some time to come. As such, as an industry we must work with employers to highlight the importance of holistic support services and raise awareness of them among their staff to ensure they become embedded as a natural first port of call and not just an option of last resort.”
- Source: Research among 500 UK adults on furlough at the time of completion, including 107 aged 55+ between 20th August - 6th September 2021.
- Source: Canada Life and Teladoc WeCare data for March-July 2021