Page 1

advocate the magazine from the UK’s leading business advisory

cover feature

advo’s big night out page 6.

advo’s trusted technology page 12. staff appraisals: pointless and time consuming? advo disagrees page 18. Issue #23 autumn 2017

Employee Benefits

Private Clients

Payroll

HR & Training


advogroup.co.uk | who we are

Lauren Smith employee benefit account manager

who we are and what we do... advocate Magazine is produced by advo group and published quarterly. advo is an award winning advisory with a focus on people and technology. Our aim is to deliver essential services with added value, a philosophy to be different and invaluable. Our business technology platforms are standalone or linked, delivering corporate style benefit management and communication to SMEs and small corporates, a unique proposition. Our clients have dedicated account managers with smaller portfolios allowing active account management, and better understanding of client needs. As an IIP Gold employer we continually update staff knowledge to ensure we can integrate and apply the best of new thinking. For general information, and/or to join our online community, please follow http//issuu.com/ advogroup. Speak to us for: • UK and overseas employee benefits • employee benefit and payroll technology platforms • staff wellbeing and wellness programmes • HR consultancy and support • payroll & auto-enrolment solutions • private client protection insurance t: 01622 769210 e: info@advogroup.co.uk w: advogroup.co.uk

advo supports

advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk |02


advogroup.co.uk | what’s inside issue #23

advo’s big night out

what’s inside issue #23 Welcome to the autumn 2017 edition of advocate, the quarterly magazine from advo. In this edition, we look at recognition from our peers with a night out at our industry’s ‘Oscars’ where glitz and reward came together. The spotlight fell on both our people and technology at a late night at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. In addition Global entrepreneurial and business magazine, Insights success, has listed advo as one of the 10 most trusted Insurance Tech Solution Providers for 2017. There has been criticism of annual staff appraisals with some calling them pointless and time consuming. advo disagrees and in an article focusses on the positives and how instead the system just needs modernising.

With mental health in the spotlight once again we have included useful information to help HR professionals. What is the difference between anxiety and depression? We take a closer look. We also look at the largest risk insurer’s claims figures, which for the first time are shown by gender. You can also read more about advo’s Ellie Sultana and her award,. We take a look at how advo recruits and supports staff with a focus on Ellie Sultana’s career journey in ‘an advonian’s journey’.

Remember that all editions of advocate magazine are free to read online at issuu.com/ advogroup

meet the advo team For more information visit www.advogroup.co.uk

larry bulmer

gill mateo

kevin crew

colin boxall

Larry founded advo in 1997 and leads the group across all advo companies

Gill joined advo in 2006 becoming Operations Director in 2013 overseeing the smooth running of advo.

Kevin oversees our award winning online service and is further developing staff, HR and Payroll platforms.

Colin joined advo group’s board in 2008 and has over twenty five years employee benefits and business experience.

lbulmer @advogroup.co.uk

gmateo @advogroup.co.uk

kcrew @advogroup.co.uk

cboxall @advogroup.co.uk

ceo

operations director

it director

commercial director

advocate autumn advocate2017 summer | 2015 advogroup.co.uk | advogroup.co.uk|| 03 03


advogroup.co.uk | contents

contents

ISSUE #23 | autumn 2017

advo news Page 06

| advo’s big night out

Page 12

| advo listed as trusted tech provider

Page 28

|

an advonian’s journey

Human Resources news Page 18

| Staff appraisals: pointless & time consuming? advo disagrees

Employee Benefits news Page 24

advo’s big night out at the Health Insurance Awards page 6.

| Group risk claims figures. Compare your statistics with the UK average.

Health & other news Page 20

| Are you coping? The differences between anxiety and depression

Page 22

| Understand your mental health

Page 16

| Upsurge in employers seeking to protect staff from flu

staff appraisals: pointless & time consuming? advo disagrees Page 24.

advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 04


advogroup.co.uk | contents

advo listed as one of the 10 most trusted Insurance Tech Solution Providers for 2017

upsurge in employers seeking to protect staff from flu

Page 12.

Page 16.

What’s the difference between anxiety and depression?

an advonian’s journey, recruitment and staff

Page 20.

Page 28. advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 05


advogroup.co.uk | advo’s big night out

advo’s big night o

advo people, technology advice honoured at Hea

At the annual Health Insurance awards advo were overall winners for the I being ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges. The Health Insurance awards are an annual ‘black tie’ event held to recognise both the ‘best’ insurers and intermediaries. The event is attended by over 900 industry leaders and professionals. This year’s event was held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday 19 October and was hosted by Health Insurance Daily’s Editor, David Sawers and comedian and actor, Omid Djalili.

The Innovation Award w advo’s approach to en management and emp through in-house techn ‘hands on’ professional

On receiving the award Tuffield said “advo work solution to our clients, e from our peers as offerin The winners are selected through a rigorous approach to benefits m selection process and finally selected by an honour we are proud to independent panel of leading industry figures. The other major award advo picked up two of the prestigious awards for the ‘Best Impact by for ‘The Intermediary Innovation Award and ‘Best the only award given to Individual Impact by a Newcomer’. company.

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advogroup.co.uk | advo’s big night out

out

y and approach to alth Insurance ‘Oscars’

Innovation and impact by a Newcomer awards in addition to Private Clients

was in recognition of nsuring the best levels of ployee access to benefits, nology systems linked with l staff.

Ellie was singled out for her career journey from administrator to account manager, the challenges she overcame and her approach to looking after clients during her two years with advo. Ellie said “I’m extremely grateful to win and receive recognition from my colleagues, d on behalf of advo Jamie and I’m very proud to represent advo and their k hard to offer bespoke growing success.” everyday. Recognition ng a truly innovative advo’s private Clients division was also management is a badge of recognised receiving a ‘highly Commended’ o have been awarded.” for the management of domestic private was given to Ellie Sultana medical insurance policies. advo was also a Newcomer’ and is recognised as a finalist for how it manages o an individual, not a corporate dental policies.

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advogroup.co.uk | advo’s big night out

advo’s Gill Mateo, operatio

Sue Smith, head of private c

advo’s Jamie Tuffield picking up the award for Innovation flanked by David Sawers, HI Daily Editor (left) and Omid Djalili

back row: Lucy Irvine, K

front: Clinton Bennett, E

with other ‘advonians’ c Omid Djalili flanked by Ellie and Jamie

advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 08


advogroup.co.uk |advo’s big night out

ons director, Colin Boxall, commercial director,

clients Nic Draycott ‘grabs the balls’ joining in one of the many entertainments laid on at the Grosvenor House Hotel

Kevin Crew, Jamie Tuffield, Jag Dosanjh,

Ellie Sultana, Lola Muddiman and Lauren Smith

celebrating after the wins.

advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 09


advogroup.co.uk | advo’s big night out

arriving for the event. Ellie Sultana, account manager, Lucy Irvin benefits, Jamie Tuffield, technical senior account manager, Nic advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 10


advogroup.co.uk | advo’s big night out

ne, operations manager, Lucy Pearce, head of employee c Draycott, employee benefit support manager advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 11


advogroup.co.uk |the 10 most trusted

advo listed as one of the 10 most trusted Insurance Tech Solution Providers for 2017 Global online entrepreneurial and business magazine, Insights success, has listed advo as one of the 10 most trusted Insurance Tech Solution Providers for 2017.advo’s technology platforms have been singled out as “one of the trusted insurance tech solutions”. The Insights Success article on advo is reproduced below. “New start ups face the challenges of finding and retaining a talented workforce in addition to capital investment. Retaining the talent within the business is a difficult task faced by all employers.

platforms, that SMEs do not. Recognising this issue over the last two years advo developed management, staff and flex portals specifically designed for the SME market.

essential employer services and integrated technology solutions specifically designed for SMEs including employee benefits, payroll, and HR. They utilize technology to deliver people-led advice, supported Successfully Transforming SME’s and expanded by their own with Futuristic Solutions in-house developed and A good quality, talented and managed technology. dedicated workforce drives advo is an award winning success and growth. There advisory with a focus on advo Online is an expectation however people and technology. advo’s in-house technology from today’s employees that, advo business technology called advo Online is a in addition to salary, their platforms are standalone or communication hub, advo employer should look after linked delivering corporate Online creates simplicity, it is more than just the statutory style benefit management quick and easy to use, saves pension but include wider and communication to SMEs. time, looks good and gives benefits and perks. There is also advo assists its clients through control over clients and their an expectation that access dedicated ‘hands on’ account benefits. to information on their staff managers who have smaller benefits through technology portfolios, allowing active mirrors their personal life account management and where all information is at their a better understanding of the fingertips. customer needs. However according to advo, As an IIP Gold employer, there is no technology equality advo continually updates for smaller employers. staff knowledge to ensure that they can integrate and Larger PLCs have access apply the best of new ideas to technology and staff and thinking. They deliver

advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 12

I am d technolo

Larry Bulmer,


advogroup.co.uk | the 10 most trusted

delighted that advo’s investment and focus on ogy is becoming more widely recognised.

, advo’s CEO

advocate autumn 2017| advogroup.co.uk | 13


advogroup.co.uk |the 10 most trusted Some of the benefits of advo Online:

Management of all staff benefits in one place with 24/7 log on access, including reports for finance and P11d. Staff portals that grant access for each employee to view their own benefits advo online plus; empowering employees to make amendments to their personal details and engaging them through the online selection for lifestyle benefits such as Give As You Earn and Cycle to Work.

together to add real value to their client’s experience. Larry is a well known and respected figure within the health insurance industry and outside of advo. Larry was the first Chairman of Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII), an organization that promotes good practice.

Futuristic Solutions from Experts advo has been managing employee benefits for over 20 successful years and been recognised as the ‘best’ intermediary firm on numerous occasions by its peers. Team advo believes that both their people and technology outshine their competitors.

claiming and benefits selection/ tailoring backed by experts independent advice. Payroll: advo acts as its client’s payroll department at a fraction of the cost of running in-house. Using its HMRC accredited systems it makes payroll management simple. Private Clients: advo’s personal approach delivers simple to understand options and independent advice for all its clients’ needs.

Benefits for Company Clients

advo clients automatically have access to a multibenefit management platform (which also includes nonadvo select; a bespoke advo managed benefits) flexible benefits platform and individual staff-portals configured for clients own Their [advo’s] IIP Gold status reflecting their employers corporate identity of is an independent testament own colors/logos. This can be providing a window for of their investment in training extended to include totalemployees to self-select. and staff support. Their aim is reward-statements, onlineto be the first to bring a truly payslips, retail discounts, integrated SME management lifestyle benefits and a full Architect of advogroup system to market, incorporating range of flexible-benefit options. Easy and intuitive Larry Bulmer is the Founder and ‘tell us once’ technology that will manage all HR and advo online, assists employers CEO of advo group. Being a finance needs mapping an with the engagement and part of the industry for a number employee’s journey through an administration of all employee of years, and whilst working at organisation. benefits together in one secure the leading UK medical insurer, platform. Larry felt that the UK market The advo’s solutions are on needed a broker that would a single platform for smooth Awards and Achievements really work for their clients. working. advo has a reputation for As the medical expenses HR (Proposed enhancement cost control and customer market in the UK was in 2018): Online management service excellence and has dominated by a few large system linked to staff portals been recognized as the UK’s players; the need to have an inclusive of sickness, absence, ‘best’ advisory firm by its expert negotiation on behalf holiday, training/career peers on numerous occasions. of clients was paramount. This (including appraisal and advo management and approach led to the early career planning), expenses, communication technology adoption of technology, and personalised company docs, platforms have won applause while competitors looked at online payslips, etc. backed by for their innovation and the internet as a place to personalised HR advice. application. gain customers, Larry used the internet to provide a platform Employee Benefits: All It [advo] has the best people that improves the customer personalised employee benefits supported by linked technology experience. 20 years later, the and wellbeing is managed that gives its clients control.” advo group has won numerous in one place, with real-time awards and continues to data, total rewards, online links blend people and technology

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advogroup.co.uk | the best people

Victoria Hackshaw advo account support

advo: the ‘best people’ advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 15


advogroup.co.uk | upsurge in flu vaccinations

upsurge in employers seeking to protect staff from flu Flu can be a severe and highly infectious illness and can take anything up to two weeks to recover from even for adults who are healthy to begin with. There has been a significant increase in the number of employers looking to protect their employees from the flu ahead of winter. Leading health insurer, Bupa has seen a significant increase in the number of employers looking to protect their employees from the flu ahead of winter. In the past five years, the healthcare company has seen a 353% increase in the number of employers providing employees with flu jab vouchers as part of their corporate health and benefits package. The upsurge in employers protecting their staff is backed up by figures from the Office of National Statistics which show

that minor illnesses, such as the flu were the most common reason for people taking sick leave at work last year. This accounted for 34 million lost working days, 24.8% of the total days lost. Hospitals across the UK are bracing themselves for this year’s flu season which is set to be one of the worst. Bupa has already seen many businesses offering vouchers to employees to enable them to get their flu jabs at participating pharmacies and supermarkets. Dr Steve Iley, Bupa UK’s Medical Director said: “Flu is highly

contagious and can easily be spread within an office so it is reassuring to see that businesses are taking steps to help their people stay well over the flu season.” “Flu is one of the most common reasons for someone to be off work which can have a serious impact on productivity, however it is easily preventable. We expect demand for flu jab vouchers and our on-site nurses to grow as more businesses recognise the value of encouraging their people to be vaccinated each winter.” Source: Office of National Statistics- Sickness absence in the labour market: 2016

seasonal flu vaccinations are quick, simple and effective, providing a good level of protection against influenza advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 16


advogroup.co.uk | upsurge in flu vaccinations

Dr Steve Iley outlines advice on the other ways that people can prevent the flu from spreading in the workplace: Encourage a clean hand culture To prevent the spread of germs, everyone should be frequently washing their hands. Hand sanitisers can also do the trick; it’s a good idea to have sanitisers located in easy to access places around the workplace.

Stay at home if you’re unwell. If someone is unwell, it’s best for them to stay at home. Not only will that help them recover, it will also prevent them from spreading the flu to colleagues. Most people with the flu are able to return to work within a week, if you’re worried or symptoms continue you should see your doctor.

Keep a clean workspace The flu is highly contagious and can be caught by touching the same area as someone with the illness. Encourage people to wipe down their workspace, especially if they work in a shared environment. Sanitised wipes are a great way to make sure the space is clean and helps prevent the spread of germs

advantages of flu vouchers advo has run onsite nurse ‘flu’ clinics for many years. Increasingly clients are opting for the flexibility and simplicity that comes with flu vouchers. The advantages of flu vouchers include:

There is nothing more to pay. Staff just present their voucher at the pharmacy to receive their flu vaccination. Vouchers are the simplest and most cost-efficient way of offering vaccination to staff who are unable to attend on-site vaccination days. Redeemable at high street pharmacies. The vaccine is given by a fully qualified nurse or pharmacist.

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advogroup.co.uk |staff appraisals

staff appraisals: pointless and time consuming? advo disagrees

Recent YouGov research has revealed that many UK workers think their annual appraisals are a waste of time, saying they do not trust their boss to be honest or to take much notice of what is discussed. Over half think annual Appraisals are “pointless” or “time consuming” advo disagrees. The research found a quarter of respondents thought managers simply regarded the reviews as a “tick-box” exercise while one in five accused their bosses of not even thinking about the appraisal until they were in the room. Managers and employees alike generally seem to think of appraisals as cumbersome and not suitable to today’s business. This is likely to be because of their approach, rather than a failing of the Appraisal system. The YouGov poll of just under 3,000 workers revealed that almost half (44%) did not think their boss was honest during the process, 29% thought they were pointless, and a fifth felt their appraisal had been unfair.

Only a fifth believed their manager would always act on what came up during the review, and 20% said their boss never bothered to follow up any concerns raised. However, four out of 10 thought appraisals were a useful guide to an individual’s progress and just under a third thought they were helpful. The results seems to be an indictment of the approach of UK employers rather than the use of Appraisals. Gill Mateo, Operations Director of advo, an Investors in Gold employer, outlined her thoughts on the failure of businesses to take advantage of the Appraisal system. “An annual appraisal,

advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 18

where it fits within an overall strategy is an excellent tool to motivate staff and generate loyalty. Contented and loyal staff are more productive, and so taking time out throughout the year to understand and work with employees is a sensible business approach.” The survey confirmed that many employees would prefer more regular feedback, which might explain why 40% said they had been surprised at what they were told during an appraisal. “It is encouraging that many people now receive an annual review and the research suggests that they find the feedback useful,” said Simon Jones, Acting Chief Executive of Investors in People.


advogroup.co.uk | staff appraisals

Contented and loyal staff are more productive and so taking time out throughout the year to understand and work with employees is a sensible business approach

Gill Mateo, advo’s group operations director

Simon Jones approach backs Gill Mateo’s comments by saying “It is also a concern that some managers may be letting down their employees by failing to give full and frank feedback. It’s a great chance for managers to make sure their employees feel challenged and valued for the year ahead, rather than unmotivated and without guidance.”

any real reason to continue with them? Just 14% of respondents said that appraisals provide all the support they need to evaluate their work and plan their career development.

An Appraisal should be ongoing. At advo everyone has monthly one-to-ones where personal development plans(PDPs) are monitored and goals and training adjusted accordingly.

This again underlines the poor approach of many UK businesses in failing to make use of a valuable tool to appreciate, educate and motivate their staff.

Praise is given where due and guidance on what can be done better.

The survey found those working in the public sector were the most negative about appraisals, while those employed in accountancy and financial services were more likely to see them as useful.

The view and approach to an appraisal system needs to be modernised says Gill Mateo.

The annual appraisal should not been seen as a chore by managers, but a fantastic opportunity if approached in the right way.

“Today’s appraisals should focus on setting short-term objectives within long-term goals, setting personal goals and identifying, implementing and managing training needs.

If you have been working and supporting the employee as we do throughout the year there should be no surprises on both side. You are simply realigning goals for the coming year.

More worrying is that almost a quarter (21%) of employees said they have never had an appraisal at their current job. The argument is that with 52% of This can make the whole process employees saying that appraisals beneficial for both the employee are stressful or difficult, is there and employer.”

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advogroup.co.uk |are you coping?

are you coping? advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 20


advogroup.co.uk | are you coping?

What’s the difference between anxiety and depression? One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. This means there’s a chance you may know somebody affected by either depression or anxiety, two of the most common mental health conditions. You may have heard these terms a lot, possibly used alongside each other. But how well do you understand them? And do you know the key differences between anxiety and depression? Bupa UK’s Head of Health Content, Nick Ridgman, helps you to better understand your mental health. What do the terms anxiety and depression mean?

but they also have physical manifestations.

A key difference between the two definitions is that one refers to a single illness, and the other to a group of conditions. Depression is essentially one illness. Although it has lots of different symptoms (see below) and may feel very different to different people, the term refers to a single condition. Anxiety, on the other hand, is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of more specific conditions. The most prevalent of these is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), which may affect between four and five in every 100 people in the UK.

Mood and feelings

Anxiety also spans several less common conditions, some of which you may have heard of. These include phobias, panic disorders, adjustment disorder and stress reaction. Because of the wide range of conditions that fall under the ‘anxiety umbrella’, for the purposes of this article we’ll focus on generalised anxiety disorder.

Physical symptoms

On the physical side, there are actually quite a few symptoms that appear in both generalised Depression is defined as having a anxiety disorder and depression. low mood and/or a loss of interest or enjoyment in most activities, For example: for two weeks or longer. These are seen as ‘core symptoms’ of • fatigue / tiredness depression. There are a range of • poor concentration other mood-related symptoms • being fidgety or unable to sit that a person with depression still may experience, including: • difficulty sleeping • guilt • helplessness • feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem or low confidence • thoughts of death or suicide

There are also physical symptoms unique to both conditions.

Similarly, generalised anxiety disorder centres on two ‘core symptoms’: excessive anxiety and worry on most days for more than six months, and difficulty controlling these feelings of anxiety and worry.

• weight changes, often caused by changes in appetite • being slower in your movements

In depression, physical symptoms might include:

The physical effects of generalised anxiety disorder include:

Again, there are further symptoms beyond these that someone may • muscle tension and aches experience, such as: • headaches • sweating • feeling on edge or restless • dizziness • irritability • bowel problems What do anxiety and depression • a fast heartbeat and shortness feel like? With generalised anxiety disorder of breath you may feel very worried about Generalised anxiety disorder and a range of everyday things, All of these symptoms can depression are similar in that their without there being one obvious potentially be signs of other main defining symptoms relate to logical cause for your anxiety. problems with your physical someone’s mood and feelings, health.

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advogroup.co.uk | are you coping?

Nick Ridgman, Bupa UK’s Head of Health Content, helps you to better understand your mental health. Can you have anxiety and depression at the same time? So it’s a complex picture, with depression and generalised anxiety disorder having some distinct features, and some that overlap. To complicate things further, it’s actually possible for someone to experience depression and anxiety at the same time. In fact it’s not just possible; it’s quite common. Around half of people with generalised anxiety disorder will also have depression. When the conditions coexist like this, they can be more severe and longlasting than usual. It’s also possible to be diagnosed with one of the conditions, and to have symptoms of the other (but at a level that on their own would not lead to a diagnosis).

The way symptoms overlap make it hard to be precise with numbers. Estimates of the number of people with depression who also experience symptoms of anxiety range as high as 85 per cent. Many experts actually view ‘mixed anxiety and depressive disorder’ (MADD) as a separate category in itself. This is where someone may have symptoms of both conditions, but not severe enough to have a formal diagnosis of either condition. However, this combination can still cause considerable distress and affect someone’s daily life. Similarities in treatments When it comes to depression and generalised anxiety disorder, one clear similarity is the way they are treated. For both conditions there are two main categories of treatment: psychological therapies and medicines. Psychological therapies involve talking through your thoughts and feelings with a qualified professional. An example of this is cognitive behavioural therapy, which aims to address the way your thoughts, feelings and behaviours interact.

Often, a treatment approach will involve a certain combination of both psychological therapies and medicines. This approach will be tailored to the individual and their specific situation. The doctor may also look to address lifestyle issues as part of the treatment, if they think these may be contributing to the depression or anxiety. So generalised anxiety disorder and depression are two different conditions. With the overlap of symptoms, the fact they can appear together, and with similar approaches to treatment, you can see why they’re so often mentioned side-by-side. If you’re struggling with your mood, or some of the symptoms mentioned here are familiar to you, it’s important to seek help. Don’t worry about labelling anything as anxiety or depression. What’s important is to get in touch with your GP so they can find out more and offer you support if you need it. If you’re feeling particularly distressed and feel the need to talk to someone immediately, you may want to contact The Samaritans.

Bupa’s website includes health information on a wide range of health topics. You can find Medicines called out more about anxiety and antidepressants are depression by following the link used for both conditions below. and are effective for many people. https://www.bupa.co.uk/HealthInformation/depression The most common ones are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), though there are lots of others the doctor might try.

Nick Ridgman Bupa UK Head of Content advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 22


advogroup.co.uk | advo: the best people

Omid Khademzadeh advo account manager

advo: the ‘best people’ advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 23


advogroup.co.uk |group risk claims

ge dif gr

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advogroup.co.uk | group risk claims

ender and age fferences revealed in roup risk claims analysis The largest UK group risk insurer, Unum, has published its annual claims statement with information on every new group income protection (GIP) claim it paid in the last year. For the first time, it includes data on the differences in claims made by men and women at differ-ent stages of their lives. Unum’s claims statement reveals that while claims increase greatly with age, high numbers of women claim throughout their working lives with Younger working women are particularly affected by mental health problems.

One of the main points of the Claims Statement is that it highlights just how valuable a staff benefit such asa group income protection policy is for workers on lower salaries, especially women.

Almost a third of women (30%) who claim earn under £20,000 and more than half (56%) earn under £30,000. Overall, a fifth of new claims (21%) are made by men and women earning under £20,000.

advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 25


advogroup.co.uk |group risk claims While both working men and women are more likely to acquire serious health problem as they age, the increase in claims with age is much higher among men. 59% of men claiming are 50 years old or over and just 18% are under 40.

and 45% are 50 or over.

Women are under-protected compared to men – only 37% of those Unum covers are women and they make up 44% of claims. They are also more likely to face serious health problems earlier in their working lives than men, and this is reflected in GIP claims – 28% of women claiming are under 40, another 28% are in their forties

Commenting on the claims statement, Peter O’Donnell, CEO at Unum, said: “There are record numbers of women in work and this Statement proves how valuable group income protection is throughout their careers. Almost a third of women claiming earn under

Mental health problems seem to be a particular issue for younger working women and older working men. 42% of women making a mental health claim were under 40 compared to 21% of men. 42% of men making a mental health claim were over 50 years old (31% for women). The statement also reveals the most common conditions men and women claim for. Cancer and mental health problems are the biggest causes of long term sickness absence among men and women. Exactly a quarter of

£20,000 and more than 40 percent of women who made a mental health claim were under 40 years old. More of our claims still come from older workers though, especially men over 50. “So we need to do more to protect our changing workforce.

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claims made by men and a third of those made by women are for cancer. 17% of claims made by both genders are for mental health problems, such as stress, depression and anxiety. Cardiovascular and circulatory problems are the third most common conditions for men (12% of their claims) but ranks eighth for women (3%). Musculoskeletal problems are the third most common reason women claim (12%) and the third most common condition overall (10% of all claims).

Less than 1 in 10 workers have GIP and women and older workers are even less likely to be protected. A temporary tax break for employers that invest in group income protection is the best way to close this unsustainable protection gap”.


advogroup.co.uk | advo payroll

Employers must offer a workplace pension scheme and automatically enroll eligible workers

“

Our solution automatically links payroll and pension provider while managing every employee, simplifying the whole process

Andy Henderson advo payroll manager

�

advo payline:salaries simplified

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advogroup.co.uk | an advonian’s journey

Ellie Sultana advo account manager

There is a core of steel running through Ellie which you might not think is there on first meeting her. Gill Mateo, advo operations director advocate autumn 2017 | advogroup.co.uk | 28


advogroup.co.uk |an advonian’s journey

an advonian’s journey advo’s future is all about innovative technology. We know however that it’s actually the people behind the technology that differentiates us from competitors. We take a look at how advo recruits and looks after staff with a focus on Ellie Sultana’s career journey to date As one of the UK’s few Investors-in-People Gold employers we focus on people, their abilities and welfare. So when someone new stands out we feel they are something special. Ellie is just such a person. advo has a rigorous recruitment process and we know the type of person that will succeed here. We have very diverse range of employees linked through personal attributes. Attitude is seen as important as aptitude. We demand a great deal from our people, they are expected to be always at the top of their game, but also enjoy coming to work. We hold recruitment days with social and academic interaction where it becomes clear who is right for us. The same process is used for all vacancies, junior through to senior-management. Although a smaller employer we offer clear structured career paths, promoting internally wherever possible. We try to recruit administrators with an eye on them becoming Account Managers (AM) at some point in the future, Ellie is an example to all how aptitude and a clear career goal can quickly take you places.

Ellie started with advo as an administrator on 1 March 2016 and was new to insurance. By April 2017 she was appointed an Account Manager with a portfolio of 170 employeebenefit clients.

Another client needed tailored reporting for their finance and payroll department. Ellie quickly learnt what her clients needed by taking the time to speak/email the relevant contacts at the group and adapted the type of service advo’s Operations Director that she provided accordingly, sums up her impressive journey. a template now taught to new administrators.” “There is a core of steel running through Ellie which you “Ellie is eager to learn and might not think is there on first quick to progress. She was meeting her. She is able to keen to attend insurer events step outside her comfort zone as well as meetings at advo to and accepts any challenges learn more about the industry thrown at her. and expand her knowledge with a view to assist clients She is level headed and within her portfolio and her very eager to learn. During colleagues. Ellie quickly began her short time as an AM taking to some of advo’s she has had some very high-profile clients following challenging customers who a successful and impressive she has handled calmly and 3-month probation-period.” effectively.” Some of the more problematic Our head of administration and challenging clients she gives her view why Ellie stood administered included highout during her time as an profile clients (UK/overseas), a administrator: range of demanding financial/ private-equity clients, where “She showed an early she assisted in staff benefitunderstanding that each days, and management of client’s needs are different flexible-benefit programmes. and tailored the level of support provided within her portfolio. “We demand a great Examples of this are an overseas Bank that required additional support where she helped create effective protocols, which are still in use.

deal from our people, they are expected to be always at the top of their game, but also enjoy coming to work”

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advogroup.co.uk | an advonian’s journey “Ellie’s capability and evergrowing knowledge gained the trust of the AM team soon after passing probation. She quickly became established as an essential part of her AM’s face-to-face client meetings, presenting on their administration requirements/needs for the upcoming year. The general feedback from the AM team was that Ellie was always professional, yet personable, in front of the clients and always added value to meetings.” Academically she embraced CII requirements turning the revision and exam around in 6 months. Internally she passed all exams, including End of probation, 93% and risk training at 98%. advo staff get involved in a wide variety of charity and teambuilding events. Ellie, despite her young age, is always at the forefront. advo’s Operations Manager highlights another side “Ellie is very team-spirited (and stylish)! She was quick to put her name forward in helping our chosen charity, she’s friendly approachable and a trusted representative of the company, a complete individual.” When a position for an Account Manager was advertised internally she felt she was ready, despite having only a year in the business in an administration role. An AM has to demonstrate entirely different set of skills, taking ownership of relationships, problems and advice. She passed interviews however with flying colours and was appointed with her own administration support allocated. advo Account Managerss not only manage portfolios inclusive of a wide spread of employee-

benefits, but also technology AM/managers have platforms such as Flexible-benefits complimented Ellie on that require a wide set of skills. her helpfulness.” Her new manager takes up the story.

Ellie is firmly establishing herself as a key advisor demonstrating knowledge, ability and maturity “Ellie has absorbed every piece of that would usually take years of information thrown at her through experience to achieve. AM training, but also through selfmotivational learning. Ellie uses her initiative to find out the answers to problems before asking a question. Questions asked are relevant and opinions offered are valuable. An example of how Ellie has put this into practice includes a new business meeting where instead of using a set-template to demonstrate advo services, she adapted content to suit requirements discussed previously. This led to the client being engaged early on and subsequently agreeing to join us. Additionally, Ellie independently researches all of her clients to establish cross-sale opportunities and build upon relationships, a protocol taken up by other AMs. Ellie has had to handle difficult client situations since joining the AM team. Particularly with one client who was aware she was new to the role and questioned her ability. Ellie left no stone un-turned and gave the correct advice throughout. This has ended in a more established and trusted relationship with this client. For someone new to the industry and having progressed rapidly through admin into AM, Ellie has buckets of confidence. She has taken to account management brilliantly, attending client meetings (existing and newbusiness) and also involving herself in networking events. A number of clients and internal

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We believe that Ellie will be one of our industries future leading lights.


advogroup.co.uk |an advonian’s journey

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advogroup.co.uk | thanks for reading

find every copy of advocate magzine online at issuu.com/advogroup Issue #22 summer 2017 In this edition we look at some new changes at advo. Sue Smith has been appointed as Head of Private Clients with our Oxford office now dedicated to managing individual health insurance contracts. advo’s work with ellenor, our chosen charity continues with our staff busy raising money and helping out at the children’s Summer Party. We also highlight new industry recognition with our IT Director, Kevin Crew, included in the 2017 Data 50 listing and there is an exclusive interview with Axa’s Global Healthcare CEO, Tom Wilkinson. We look at how advo staff got on at the annual ‘Bupa challenge’ and reminisce with one of our Directors in a copy of an article first published in Cover magazine.

Issue #21 Spring 2017 In this edition, we look at advo’s fantastic new look and the introduction of a new advo online platform that allows staff to have more choice over their benefit selection. We also highlight new industry recognition in addition to an exclusive interview with digital risk insurer’s CEO, Lee Lovett where we look at similarities between advo and Ellipse’s use of technology. Also included is advo’s Gill Mateo talking about practical steps taken to achieve Investors in People Gold accreditation.

Issue #20 winter 2016 In this edition of advocate magazine we look at advo’s 2016 ‘Oscar’ awards where we celebrate our ‘best of the best’ and highlight the achievements of employee benefit advisor, Jamie Tuffield and a host of other stars in the advo team. We also have an interview with Corine Williams, Simplyhealth’s Director of HR & Engagement who discusses research that highlights that employers are not adequately supporting their line managers. We have another interview with Team Viewers’ CEO Andreas Konig, who explores the desire among workers to move away from the traditional 9-5 working day. Also included are the most important employer news stories of the month.

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advogroup.co.uk | the advo group

advogroup empowering people solutions

advo: solutions for the future, delivered today, protecting tomorrow. An award winning advisory delivering linked services

advo benefits: advise | engage | reward

employee benefits independent advisory services with dedicated account management across a range of health, wellbeing and risk insurance

advo online simple and secure advo online gives small to medium-sized employers a useful tool to manage and communicate employee benefits effectively

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payroll & auto-enrolment we make running payroll and payrolling of benefits simple helping clients to remain compliant ensuring employees and their benefits are paid correctly and efficiently

HR & training services all the protection and advantages of an in-house HR and training team ensuring compliance with legislation while supporting best employee practice and performance

advo sis (success in systems) award winning and innovative, our technology is designed, built and managed in-house enabling us to provide clients with good value systems for both employer and employee

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advo has a reputation for cost control, innovation and customer service excellence. Having been recognised as the UK’s ‘best’ advisory firm by our peers on numerous occasions we have the best people supported by linked technology that gives control.

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Advocate magazine autumn 2017