Advocate magazine summer 2017

Page 1

advocate the magazine from the UK’s leading business advisory

cover feature

ellenor & advo page 5.

advo: more changes for the better page 9. advo’s success at the CIPD HR show page 15. Employee Benefits

Private Clients

Issue #21 Spring 2017


HR & Training | who we are

Nic Draycott employee benefit support 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// 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: w:

advo supports

advocate summer 2017 | |02 | what’s inside issue #22

advo and ellenor working together

what’s inside issue #22 Welcome to the Summer 2017 edition of advocate, the quarterly digital magazine from advo. 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 awards where we were highlighted as one of the very few UK financial companies to be awarded this honour. There is an exclusive interview with Axa’s Global Healthcare CEO, Tom Wilkinson,

where similarities of service and client support become clear between our two organisations. 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. We also highlight an important petition to Government by trade association, AMII, to reduce Insurance Premium Tax which is pushing up the cost of essential health insurances. Included also is some important updates on Tribunal fees and employees after Brexit. Remember that all editions of advocate magazine are free to read online at advogroup

meet the advo team For more information visit

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 of staff, HR and Payroll platforms.

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






operations director

it director

commercial director

advocateadvocate spring 2017 summer | 2015 ||| 03 03 | contents


ISSUE #22 | summer 2017

ellenor and advo working together page 6.

advo news Page 06

| ellenor and advo working together

Page 10

| advo one of only four financial data 50 companies

Page 16

| advo’s challenge

Page 20

| Success at the CIPD HR Software Show

Page 24

| More change for the better at advo. The new face for Private Clients

Page 34

| An intermediary’s journey. Recollections over the last 20 years

Human Resources news Page 32

| Tribunal fees latest

Employee Benefits news Page 12

| An interview with Axa International’s CEO, Tom Wilkinson

Health & other news Page 26

| An interview with Dr. Yassir Javaid, a renowned cardiology specialist

Page 28

| Health and your heart and common questions

Page 30

| Heart attack, what are the signs

the new face for private clients Page 24.

advocate summer 2017 | | 04 | contents

advo is one of only four financial organisations that are data 50 companies Page 10.

exclusive interview with Axa Global’s CEO, Tom Wilkinson Page 11.

advo’s challenge Page 16.

an intermediary’s journey; recollections of the last 20 years Page 25. advocate summer 2017 | | 05 | ellenor & advo

“you could see that all at ellenor had a lot of love for the children and genuinely cared for them all”.

Amy Jones, advo advocate summer 2017 | | 06 | ellenor and advo

ellenor and advo ‘working together’ ellenor provides the best personalised care to families facing terminal illness. advo was at their recent Children’s Summer Party giving a helping hand. Over the years advo have helped fund-raise for several charities but have never partnered with any one in particular, this changed in June of this year when we announced that our chosen charity is ellenor. ellenor is a Kent based charity that provides the best personalised care for families facing terminal illness. ellenor has an emphasis on ensuring care is delivered in the best place possible, whether that be at home or in a hospice. Katherine Mobey from ellenor explains further “care is provided for all ages, all diagnosis’ and to all concerned; patients, carers and families.” It is advo’s aim to provide the charity both funds and support through donations and staff time over the coming years. Although advo has since June raised many hundreds of pounds from staff events including a ‘wet’ Barbeque

and Sportsday, but last Friday was the first organised ellenor event, the Children’s Summer Party. At the Summer Party 8 members of staff gave up their day to help throughout the day helping to set up, serving refreshments and giving their support. So many staff wanted to help that names had to be pulled from a hat. On the day the weather held out staying nice for the children. advo’s Amy Jones described the scene “the grounds of the hospice were really lovely with beautiful flowers and even a Fairy Garden for the kids with houses and windchimes. For the party, tables were laid out with lots to do including sensory activities and face painting. There was lots to eat, music, animals, princesses, birds of prey, bongo drums and even a unicorn.”

advocate summer 2017 | | 07 | ellenor & advo The advo staff had a great time and were impressed by the dedication of the ellenor staff. Amy summed this up saying “You could see that all at ellenor had a lot of love for the children and genuinely cared for them all”. advo has a number of events planned to raise money and give more support from the formal black-tie dinner, to pub quizzes through to proposing to run the London Marathon. We will keep you up to date as it all happens. For further information on ellenor and their fantastic work, please visit their website:

advo’s Amy ‘joining in’

advocate summer 2017 | | 08 |ellenor & advo


seeing the great work in action pushes you to do more to help Lucy Irvine, advo


advocate summer 2017 | | 09 |advo, a Data 50 leader

One of only four: advo is a Data 50 company advo was recognised as a Data 50 company at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Montcalm hotel in London. advo’s IT Director, Kevin Crew was one of only four UK financial services organisations that were recognised during the evening. Some of the UK’s largest and well-known employers including Network Rail, Ocado, Royal Mail, The British Army, Boeing, Vodafone, Guardian and Yorkshire Building Society attended the evening.

be recognised for the work we have been undertaking, especially given the wide ranging competition. Our advo online is quick and easy to use, saves time, looks good and makes the client experience better.”

unique benefit engagement technology previously the preserve of larger corporates. In April 2015, advo extended staff portals to incorporate full flexible-benefits.

The current system is in its The reasons why advo and third generation with a fourth Kevin Crew were inducted into currently in construction that the Data 50 listing were given encompasses payroll and HR. as Towards the end of 2015, advo “Employee benefit specialist moved away from product The Data 50 Awards honour advo created in-house systems sales based around renewal allowing slicker account dates to targeted technology the people at the forefront administration and lower appointments.” of data – those transforming client fees. Kevin Crew is both organisations and enhancing architect and administrator of advo has offered technology decision-making through its advo online. platforms since 2006 allowing use, managing and controlling effective multi-benefit its proliferating growth, and Designed for companies management and easy driving new business value. up to 500 employees, advo access to staff benefits. The black tie event was hosted online was created for SMEs and small corporates, and You can see the full data 50 by comedian and presenter has matured into a complete listing by visiting: Ian Moore with Brigadier Tim employee management and Carmichael, the British Army’s communication platform, first Chief Data Officer, as allowing a shift from policy guest speaker. administration to a generator of sales. In reacting to the recognition at the Data 50 Awards Kevin In 2015 advo went live with Crew commented “I was both a full flex-benefits platform, surprised and delighted to giving SMEs access to a

advocate summer 2017 | | 10 | advo, a Data 50 leader


advo online is quick and easy to use, saves time, looks good and makes the client experience better.

Kevin Crew, advo IT Director


advocate summer 2017| | 11 |an interview with Tom Wilkinson

Our ethos is to empow to live a better life

Tom Wilkinsion

Colin Boxall, advo Commercial Director and Tom Wilkinsion, CEO of Axa’s Global Healthcare Team

advocate spring 2017 | | 12

wer people | an interview with Tom Wilkinson

advo interviews Axa Global’s CEO, Tom Wilkinson In a wide ranging interview we ask Tom Wilkinson about what he feel separates AXA from other international health insurers, how they support advo clients and where they have gone ‘above and beyond’ what would normally be expected. Q. In a global market where (unlike UK PMI) there are many other insurers – What sets AXA apart, both in the UK and other parts of the world? How can this work where there are local legislation and requirements? What sets AXA apart is our ability to offer clients locally compliant international medical insurance propositions under one brand through our unique ability to partner with AXA’s health insurance businesses around the world. With a presence in more than 64 countries, including 35 health businesses, we are able to provide international healthcare packages to businesses and individuals alike. This ‘multilocal’ approach ensures we can offer a consistency of brand, proposition and service but where certain countries (such as the UAE) have specific regulations about how health insurance plans are procured and designed, we can provide products that are locally compliant. As more and more countries introduce local healthcare regulations, AXA is well placed to adapt. Q. What is the service ethos for AXA’s global healthcare business?

Our ethos is to empower people to live a better life. We strive to do everything we can to make that happen – from securing guarantees of payment for treatment to offering customers the choice of a second medical opinion if they are seeking reassurance about their diagnosis. We very much focus on a ‘Customer First’ approach. Our global contact centre is available 24/7 and speaks many languages so customers can speak in their own language about their medical claims and queries. We also put a great deal of investment into our talent, learning and development team in our contact centre so talented people can do what they do best and don’t get dragged away from what’s important – helping customers. We also do work behind the scenes. For example, our claims transformation programme is an ongoing initiative dedicated to the continuous improvement of our claims management. We have a team focused entirely on tracking fraudulent activity and an innovation hub to test ideas to enable us to go above and beyond what customers expect.

advocate spring 2017 | | 13 | an interview with Tom Wilkinson Q. Have you examples where AXA has gone ‘above and beyond’ what would normally be expected from an insurer?

HR managers to understand regulations around healthcare provision and what they need to ensure their employees are properly covered. We can also offer them and their employees access to online information around some of the administrative aspects of moving and living abroad such as visa applications and what local healthcare is available.

facing employees doing what they do best is key for us. We have a talent programme which provides opportunities for colleagues to work on These are perhaps some cross-business projects, giving examples that bring our them an opportunity to service ethos to life. We develop their skills and widen recently had a young girl who their experience whilst still needed to go into hospital retaining their core focus. This for an operation. Her case helps employees to develop manager knew she was and broaden their skills and worried about the operation empowers them to grow as so to make the experience much as possible. Therefore less daunting, we sent her a We also offer a pre-assignment we’re able to promote and toy bear dressed in a doctor’s screening service, which can reward without removing uniform. She loved this and help businesses identify ways senior employees from client took the toy to hospital with to plan and support any contact. her as it made her feel better health needs their employees about the experience. or their family members might Q. What is the most have. challenging part of managing Another example would be for an international book of a member who had cancer. Q. What is more important, clients? This member had been value for money, good designated a cancer case benefit coverage, effective The ever-changing healthcare manager who had been with claims management or good regulations around the globe him throughout his journey of administration? present challenges in ensuring diagnosis through to remission. plans are, and remain, One day, the gentleman All of these points are crucial compliant. However, this is happened to mention that, to a quality service that will where AXA’s global presence once his treatment was over delight customers and we is key – our approach and he was in remission, he work with customers to get combines our international was looking forward to a nice the right balance for them. expertise with local, in-market glass of red wine to celebrate Depending on the customer, knowledge to help us work as he had not enjoyed it so certain criteria will be more with regulators to anticipate much during treatment. Our important. For example, changes and remain case manager remembered good benefit coverage and compliant. this and, when he went into effective claims management remission, we sent him a case might be more important to Containing costs where of red wine to celebrate. consumers purchasing an IPMI claims are incurred in multiple He was touched by this plan for their family, whereas a countries is also a challenge. gesture and thanked us for multinational business covering Having a strong global it. Engaging with customers hundreds of employees might medical provider network on this scale is fantastic as place cost containment at the and an effective anti-fraud it enables us to make the top of their priority list. team are two of the ways difference to them and bring AXA actively works to ensure them closer to our brand. it offers competitive and We look to optimise our international whole offering to ensure sustainable Q. What can AXA do to assist health insurance propositions. all clients are happy with HR managers faced with our service. relocating staff overseas? As an independent employee Q. Companies typically We have been working benefits intermediary advo internationally for over 40 years promote experienced people are able to match Axa so we have lots of knowledge in to non-client facing roles. PPP International to the How do you ensure you retain we can share with clients – the experience on the ‘front be this the most common line’? types of claims experienced on an international medical Keeping talented clientinsurance policy or helping

advocate summer 2017 | | 14 | award winning advice

Lola Muddiman advo account manager

advo: award winning advice advocate summer 2017 | | 15 | advo’s challenge

advo’s challenge advocate summer 2017 | | 16 | advo’s challenge

“The day was full of energy, fun and was very exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed axe throwing” Lauren Smith

advo entered a team at the annual Bupa challenge event. The Bupa challenge is designed to test your physical and mental ability with UK Intermediary firms large and small sending teams to compete. This year’s event was held in July at the Hilton St Anne’s Manor, Berkshire and included some new and unusual challenges. The daylong event included “The day was great, very a variety of challenges. social and interactive. I managed to meet a lot of the The first event was to make Bupa team who I wouldn’t music from wood and string, normally get to speak to, and the second a team 7.5k met other brokers who are our mountain bike ride through competitors.” thick mud followed by axe throwing. “The day was full of energy, fun and was very exciting. The fourth challenge was a I thoroughly enjoyed axe race on ‘Shredders’ which throwing and shredding. can only be described as Overall it was a great a Segway with tank tracks. experience and I feel Lauren Smith, an advo privileged to had been account manager said of invited’’ the shredders The day completed with “we had never seen them dinner and drinks which started before but they were a with a ‘haka’ performance. great adrenalin rush“ advo’s team came joint 5th from the bottom of the 22 Lauren added teams and although not a

great overall result it was felt to be a success to those that entered. Natasha Gunning summed up the day saying

“the team spirit was the most enjoyable part alongside the new and unusual challenges, it was a great day.”

advocate summer 2017 | | 17 | advo’s challenge


advo team: (IT Director, Kevin Crew with advo account managers Jamie Tuffield, Lauren Smith and Natasha Gunning with Natasha Heasman (front left) advo’s Bupa Account Manager.

advocate summer 2017 | | 18 | advo’s challenge

e of the four advo team join in the ‘haka’

Kevin starting the first challenge, making a musical instrument, from wood and string, and the cycle race, during and after.

Natasha axe throwing

Jamie ‘shredding’ & relaxing

advocate summer 2017 | | 19 | success at HR software show The annual CIPD HR Software Show is an event that attracts senior HR professionals looking to source new HR software solutions or to improve their existing systems. At this year’s event advo were sponsors, exhibitors and speakers. Over two days advo’s exhibition stand attracted considerable interest standing out from other systems on display through its additional approach to supporting HR departments.

Larry discussed how technology can make the HR manager’s life easier, do their job better while creating more time.

your staff.” In summing up the advantages to employers using technology to manage staff benefits are:

• To administer all employee Also better ways for staff benefits in one place to access their benefits, Companies visiting the advo to understand what wider • To promote staff incentives exhibit met account managers benefits they have and how to who led HR professionals make the most of them. • To drives employee through the fundamentals of engagement the advo online options. In addition Larry covered how to get staff to better • And as a powerful flexible The main advo system understand their total benefits tool. difference is the management remuneration, what is a Total and communication of all Reward Statement, how to Benefits to staff are: staff benefits through one generate one, and why it is simple log-in. Coupled with such a powerful tool. • Ability to access benefits this is the ability to extend online at any time staff portals to include Total The importance of benefit Reward Statements and choice that suit individual • Engage with Total Reward benefit selection. As a result employees and how to Statements advo have already started introduce them and what are undertaking work for a number flexible benefits and whether • Access to valuable retail of new clients. they are applicable to an discounts encouraging repeat organisation. visits On the first day advo’s CEO, Larry Bulmer spoke at the Important points that came • Tailor benefits to match exhibition Showcase theatre out of the discussions were lifestyle. about the general lack of choosing the right benefits access to technology systems package, as this varies for SMEs. between organisations, and If you would like a the best ways for staff to demonstration of how advo In a presentation called access and appreciate them. online can improve your ‘Technology Equality for SMEs, current benefit provision Larry looked at the challenges Larry Bulmer, speaking at the through our approach to faced by SMEs managing event said: “the message is account management using multiple employee benefits that technology costs have our own technology please and how technology can save tumbled as systems become email Larry Bulmer on lbulmer@ time and better engage with better and even a very basic employees. employee portal uplifts your benefit provision in the eyes of

up of


advo’s success at t HR software show

advocate summer 2017 | | 20 | succes at HR software show

even a very basic employee portal plifts your benefit provision in the eyes f your staff

arry Bulmer, advo’s CEO

the CIPD advocate summer 2017 | | 21 | success at HR software show

Jamie Tuffield advo technical senior account manager

advocate summer 2017 | | 22 | succes at HR software show

gone is much of the management complexity and prohibitive costs, and gone is the old problem of the technology ‘tail’ wagging the dog

Larry Bulmer, advo CEO

advocate summer 2017 | | 23 |private clients


I believe in providing each a one of our private clients with hands on service

Sue Smith head of private clients


advocate summer 2017 | | 24

and every a personal | private clients

centre of excellence Changes for the better continue at advo with Sue Smith appointed as Head of Private Clients. Commenting on the changes Gill Mateo, advo Operations Director said “the appointment of Sue to head up this important division has allowed advo to reorganise, to allow a clear focus on different parts of the business. Oxford will manage all private client contracts, our New Haven office, payroll services and Maidstone employee benefits and HR consultancy. Sue joined advo in 2012 after her company became part of the group and has run the advo Oxford office. She is well known within the health insurance industry being confirmed as the UK’s best private clients Intermediary on numerous occasions by her peers.

Sue and her team will remain at the Oxford Office which will become a ‘centre of excellence’ within the group where all private client policies are managed. The Oxford office will have a focus on individual member health insurances including UK and overseas private medical insurance, cash plans, travel and dental. Sue’s team will be supported by Kim Jefferies, the Oxford office manager. This is an integral part of advo’s overall strategy to create centres of excellence at locations in Maidstone, Oxford and Newhaven, with each focusing on different parts of the business. Gill commenting on the planned changes said “We believe the creation of centres of excellence will allow us to deliver even better service to our customers through the dedication of each office to specialism and market sector.

Sue has always been active with supporting the wider health insurance industry and was a founder member of the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII), the organisation that promotes best practice within health insurance, in 1994. She Larry Bulmer, advo’s CEO became Vice Chair in 2005 commented: remained part of the AMII management committee “The directors are until recently. delighted that Sue Sue also advised BIBA on Private Medical Insurance and worked and advised the GISC (General Insurance Standards Council), the regulatory organisation that pre-dated the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

has accepted this new challenge where she can bring her vast experience, professionalism and personal approach to all advo’s private clients.”

advocate summer 2017 | | 25 | know your numbers by heart

Know your numbers by heart advocate summer 2017 | | 26 | know your numbers by heart

The average heart pumps around 5 litres of blood per minute, but are we doing our best to look after it? Almost a third of people with high blood pressure are unaware of it and this can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and other health issues. Dr Yassir Javaid, Cardiology Advisor for Bupa UK is encouraging Brits to ‘know their numbers’. Here he explains what health numbers are important, from blood pressure through to heart rate, and answers the common questions patients ask. Blood Pressure Your blood pressure is the force of blood against the artery walls every time your heart beats. Raised blood pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. You can check your blood pressure with a simple measurement at your local GP surgery, some pharmacies, or even at home, if you have a blood pressure machine. A normal blood pressure reading should be less than 140/90. The top/first number (systolic pressure) is the pressure within your arteries when your heart contracts; and the second/bottom number (diastolic pressure) is the pressure when your heart is between beats. Anything consistently over the range of 140/90 means your blood pressure is in the high range, and could mean you have hypertension.

contains antioxidants, such as resveratrol, which may benefit heart health, the science isn’t strong enough to advise nondrinkers to start drinking. An occasional small glass of red wine though shouldn’t do you any harm.

Anything higher than 100 beats per minute at rest should be checked by your GP.

Cholesterol Cholesterol is a type of fat that’s made in your liver. Your body needs cholesterol to make certain hormones, however too much bad cholesterol (LDLCholesterol) increases the risk of heart disease, particularly in people with other risk factors such as high blood pressure.

Being overweight puts extra pressure on your heart and more often than not, people who are overweight also have high blood pressure. A healthy BMI range is anything between 18.5 and 24.9. Again, a healthy diet and exercise is key to staying in the healthy BMI range.

BMI Your Body Weight Index (BMI) is an indication of whether your weight is right for your height.

Waist measurement Body shape is probably more important than BMI in terms of influencing blood pressure and heart health. Fat around the Ideally, you’d want your bad or abdomen is an indication that LDL-cholesterol level to be under you are likely to have fat coating three, however if you have a major organs such as the heart, history of heart related issues such kidneys, liver and pancreas and as angina or had a previous heart this type of fat is associated attack, then you should aim for a with developing diabetes and LDL of less than two. heart disease. Ideally your waist A healthy diet and lifestyle can circumference should be no help reduce your risk of high Cutting down on saturated fat more than 94 cm for men and 80 blood pressure and reduce your intake, as well as regular exercise cm for women. risk of suffering a heart attack and weight loss (if overweight) or stroke. High alcohol and salt can help reduce bad cholesterol intake in particular are associated levels. with high blood pressure. You should also consider your food Heart rate portions if you’re overweight and Your heart rate is usually try and incorporate plenty of fruit measured when you are resting, and vegetables into your diet. this is because your heart rate Regular exercise and maintaining can fluctuate throughout the a healthy weight are also day, depending on what you’re important factors in controlling doing and your stress levels. The blood pressure. normal resting heart rate for adults can range from 60 – 100 In theory, red wine could offer beats per minute, though many some benefits, but the evidence fit people can have a normal isn’t clear cut. Although red wine resting heart rate of below 60. Your GP can check your good and bad cholesterol levels with a simple blood test.

Dr. Yassir Javaid

advocate summer 2017 | | 27 | know your numbers by heart

Those important numbers again Almost a third of people with high blood pressure are unaware of it. Here are the numbers you need to know to reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and other health issues. .

advocate summer 2017 | | 28 | questions by heart

Dr Javaid answers the most common questions patients ask about lowering blood pressure and heart health Is red wine good for my heart? Red wine contains antioxidants which, in theory, can offer a range of health benefits such as increasing levels of ‘good‘ cholesterol. However, the evidence is by no means clear cut on this and certainly not strong enough to advise nondrinkers to start drinking. An occasional small glass of red wine though shouldn’t do you any harm.

Avoid foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt as they all can contribute to increasing your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars, which can lead to heart disease. Also, avoid drinking too much alcohol. Excessive consumption can directly damage your heart and also increase blood pressure. At what age do I need to worry about my heart? You should focus on staying healthy regardless of your age. Maintaining good habits of regular exercise and a healthy diet and avoiding bad habits such as smoking is important. If you have a strong family history of early cardiovascular disease, it is sensible to periodically visit your GP to check for risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

I think I’m physically active, but am I just busy? Often people come to me thinking they are physically active, but really, they’re just busy. There’s a big difference What can I do to improve my between the two; being heart health? physically active means The most important thing is exercising almost every day for to maintain a healthy lifestyle, periods of at least half-an-hour. and be physically active. I If you’re busy, you’re probably recommend doing some form moving around a lot, but it’s of exercise for at least 30 minutes unlikely you’re getting your heart What foods are good for a at a time, ideally five times a rate up enough to count as healthy heart? week. If you can’t work out this exercise. There aren’t any miracle foods or often, be assured any physical diets that prevent or cure heart activity is better than none. disease; however a healthy diet If you smoke, quit as this and lifestyle can help reduce increases your risk of a heart your risk of high blood pressure. attack or stroke and is also linked Look at your food portions; to a number of cancers. Dr Javaid qualified from gaining weight can lead to a Cambridge University and heightened risk of diabetes and completed his GP VTS training heart problems. in Northampton. He has an Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables interest in cardiology and and whole grains; these food echocardiography and groups can help reduce your was a clinical lead in the blood pressure and cholesterol. Northamptonshire Community They can also help make you Cardiology service, which had feel fuller for longer. a focus on patients with heart Protein is essential in any healthy failure and valve disease. He was diet but try to avoid meats that recently named Pulse “GP of the are high in fat. Lean protein such Year” for his work in reducing as chicken and fish are great stroke emergency admissions options, however if you’re vegan in the East Midlands. He is also try eating quinoa, soya and a council member of the British pulses. Heart Valve Society and on the editorial board for the British

advocate summer 2017 | | 29 |what are the signs

advocate summer 2017 | | 30 | what are the signs

What is a heart attack and how do we spot the signs? A heart attack occurs when the supply of blood to a part of the heart becomes blocked, leading to damage to the muscle tissue. This can be life-threatening and is mainly caused by coronary heart disease narrowing the arteries as a result of a build-up of fatty material on the artery walls. Can you spot the signs and symptoms of a heart attack? If not, here they are:

Chest pain: tightness, pressure, pain or a burning

feeling in your chest

Pain radiating down your arm, and even into

your neck, jaw and back or stomach

Feeling weak or lightheaded

Feeling nauseous or vomiting

Shortness of breath

It’s the combination of symptoms that’s important in determining whether a person is having a heart attack, and not just the severity of chest pain, as this can sometimes be mistaken for indigestion. But don’t delay in getting help if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack. Always call 999. If you are over 40, it is recommended that you should have a heart health check to assess your risk of having a heart attack. advo can help your organisation find the most suitable wellbeing solution. for more information on heart and other medical concerns visit

advocate summer 2017 | | 31 |tribunal fees latest

Tribunal fees latest

In a dramatic decision, the Supreme Court has held that the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (which introduced the charging of fees into the employment tribunal system) is unlawful and discriminatory. What happened? This challenge to the employment tribunal fees regime, brought by the trade union UNISON, has now been running for over 4 years. UNISON won their argument that tribunal fees are a barrier to access to justice.

be able to recover fees from their employer. The Court emphasised that access to justice must be available to all claimants, not just those who win.

The Court also found the Fees Order to be indirectly discriminatory because a greater The Court observed that many proportion of women than men claimants are seeking relatively bring discrimination claims in small sums of money (for example particular. unpaid wages) or non-financial remedies (for example a claim for What does this mean for advo a written statement of particulars clients? of employment). The Court found The Government will cease taking that the fees bear no relation fees for employment tribunals to the value of the claim and in immediately and begin the effect render it “futile or irrational” process of reimbursing fees back for a claimant to pursue a claim to 2013. It is therefore possible that might be of huge personal that you will see an immediate importance but relatively low increase in claims, possibly by as monetary value. much as 70%, which was the drop we saw in tribunal claims in 2013. In the Court’s view, it did not matter that there was a chance However, it is unlikely that that successful claimants might fees are gone for good. The

advocate summer 2017 | | 32

government will have to go back to the drawing board to work out a differently structured charging regime. A word of caution This also throws up the question of what will happen to claimants who were deterred from bringing a claim because of the high level of fees. This was not addressed in the recent decision. However, it is possible that employees who chose not to bring claims may now do so, on the basis that it was “not reasonably practicable” for them to bring a claim when the unlawful fee regime was in place. As ever, we will keep you updated as more information is available. If you would like to know how this may effect your business contact advo hr. | advo payroll


Precise and dependable: compliant simplified payroll, supported by our own HMRC accredited technology

Andy Henderson head of advo payroll


advo payline:salaries simplified

advocate summer 2017 | | 33 | an intermediary’s journey

Today’s approach feels right and I would never want to return to the good old, bad old days

Colin Boxall, advo commercial director advocate summer 2017 | | 34 |an intermediary’s journey

an Intermediary’s journey advo’s Colin Boxall was interviewed for Cover Magazine where he discussed how the intermediary market, as well as advo, have changed over the past two decades. Cover magazine and advo are celebrating their 20 year anniversary. “Is 20 years is a long time? Remember Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’?, It spent 12 weeks in the top 10 in 1997, the year that J. K Rowling published the first Harry Potter book.

for over 25 years, starting back in the days when carbon paper was still used. My career started in life and pensions, I then moved to Prime Health for a short while, then an independent The familiar can sometimes Healthcare intermediary, make the past seem closer but setting up my own firm in 2000 today’s Intermediary operates which merged with advo in in a world with few similarities 2008. to how things were done 20 years ago. Thinking back 20 years one figure sticks in my mind, £22.78. Back in 1997 mobile phones It was the 18-29 monthly price were in their infancy, there was for a revolutionary medical no communication ‘on the insurance product from new go’ and no expectation from insurer, Prime Health. clients of an immediate reply. A moving image in a picture Their Primecare policy was still a thing of magic. simplified cover and undercut Retained knowledge was still the market. To me this admired with no Google to represents the opportunity ask. that existed at the time. This insurer subsequently became Things change, but some still Standard Life, then PruHealth some stay the same. Reruns and now Vitality. of ‘Yes Minister’ compare the shortcomings of the NHS Other UK PMI insurers at the to the Minister’s own private time included Royal Sun healthcare where those who Alliance, Clinicare, Abbey can afford it have access to National, Cornhill, BCWA, AIG better care. & Iron Trades, Norwich Union and Private Patients Plan, all of 1997 was also the year that the which have gone through their advogroup was established own transformations. by the current CEO, Larry Bulmer. Today advo remains For the intermediary it was one of the few privately also the time of no compulsory owned Intermediary firms, and compliance and little arguably the largest. competition. I have been an intermediary

The term ‘Employee Benefit

Consultant’ did not exist and the general IFA community had little understanding of medical insurance and even less inclination to find out more. PMI Intermediaries at the time set up referral agreements removing the need for prospecting receiving pre-closed client referrals. If you were good at your job you could ‘out-broke’ competitors and if your firm incorporated high service standards with clear advice and reporting you moved ahead of competitors. It was common back then for employers to have both a healthcare and pension broker. IFAs that took on managing PMI for their clients in addition to Pensions were often easy pickings when faced with the knowledge of a PMI specialist. Those firms that used telesales found it easier to make appointments with confidence that at least one-in-five appointments would result in a new client.

“But it was also the time of the ‘Cowboy’. Although mal-practice still exists, it is no longer commonplace.”

advocate summer 2017 | | 35 | an Intermediary’s journey

With the burden of compliance we can sometime forget how it has cleaned up our industry from the miss-reputations and downright lies encountered at the time with some competitors.

Standards across the industry have increased considerably. High levels of service, once unusual are commonplace. Firms are fully complied delivering skilled reporting.

It would be much harder for an entrepreneur to set up a business today but with a strong proposition, based firmly on the principals of service, excellence, knowledge and with a strong added value The ability to ‘outproposition supported Taking on new clients was broke’ a competitor has by today’s technology much easier 20 years ago disappeared with insurers you can create a strong, but the market, people applying a level playing sustainable client base and businesses have field mentality. creating long-term evolved. Expectations partnerships with are radically different as Telesales appointments clients. are business approaches based solely on price and processes. would struggle to close 1 “To me today’s in 20 appointments. We approach feels right The Intermediary firms also have comparison and would never of 20 years ago, without sites for individuals, email want to return to the change, could not campaigns reaching good old, bad old survive and thrive in out to existing clients today’s market. and more compliance days.” requirements Today’s Group encouraging our existing Secretaries are clients to look elsewhere more sophisticated, for better deals on understand wellness and renewal. wellbeing and with a focus on their employees’ But which would health demand much I prefer, today’s higher standards of market or those support and knowledge of 20 years from their advisors. Single ago? product brokers are rare with an expectation to manage all of a client’s employee benefits. Since RDR most IFAs have stopped referring their clients as health insurance is one of the few policies that can still include commission. Many of these firms have evolved into EBCs and now become competitors taking back past referred clients.

Colin with Nic, employee benefit support manager and Clinton, senior account manager outside advo house

advocate summer 2017 | | 36 |an intermediary’s journey

advocate summer 2017 | | 37 | thanks for reading

find every copy of advocate magzine online at 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.

Issue #19 autumn 2016 The Autumn 2016 edition of advocate magazine looks at advo’s fantastic win at the 2016 Insurance Times Technology Awards. advo were awarded the title of ‘Technology Innovation of the Year – Broker‘ from a vast array of entrants from the wider UK insurance industry. We also feature our latest exclusive interviews including those with Vitalty Health’s Shuan Subel, who discusses the positive health message behind their “Everyday Athlete campaign”, and with Office Genie’s Pete Ames, who discusses the effect the Summer’s sporting events have had on employee productivity across the country, as well as the most relevant human resource and occupational stories.

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