Should You Open a Joint Bank Account with a Business Partner?

When you first start your business, having one bank account may have been enough to handle your financial needs. Now that you’ve grown, you’re wondering if it’s time to consider a joint bank account for your business.

Opening a joint bank account could make it much easier to handle your business’ financial needs. 

Have you never had a joint bank account? Are you curious about the benefits and disadvantages of having one?

We’re going to give you a quick rundown on what you need to know about having a joint account.

What Is a Joint Bank Account?

The concept of a joint bank account isn’t difficult to understand. Essentially, a joint bank account can allow different account holders to deposit and withdraw money. 

In terms of function, there isn’t much difference between having a joint bank account and a regular bank account for your business.

Each account holder will have their own chequebook and debit card that can allow them to make purchases or take out money at ATMs.

They’ll be able to access their account online and have all of the regular functions associated with a normal account.

Most joint bank accounts only have two account holders like spouses or two business partners, but you don’t have to stop at giving only two people access. You can open a joint bank account with three people, five people, or as many as you desire.

Joint Bank Account Pros 

Opening a joint bank account with your business partner can have a lot of benefits.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not opening one is the right thing to do, take some time to learn about all of the different ways having a joint account can help you and your business partner.

Transparency   

Does it occasionally feel like you and your partner are on completely different pages when it comes to finance? Opening a joint bank account can give you some much-needed insight into your spending and cash flow.

It’s easy to say that you’ll always let someone know when you make a big withdrawal or deposit, but emergencies and last-minute purchases do happen. 

Juggling multiple bank accounts for one business can start to be a little tricky. Eventually, you’ll start to lose track of what’s in each account. 

When you have a joint account, you and your business partner can handle making all of your purchases and manage all of your business expenses out of one account. It’ll make paying bills and managing finances a lot easier. 

Having two sets of eyes on the same account can also be helpful when you’re balancing the books and making purchasing decisions.

You may think that you’re able to make a purchase, but your partner can double-check your numbers to be completely sure.

Speed

You’ve found the perfect office space for your growing team and the realtor you’re talking to wants you to make an offer fast. Unfortunately, your partner has your bank account information, and they’re on vacation for the next 10 days.

Working out of a single bank account can seriously slow down some of the work and decisions you want to make.

When you have a joint account, you won’t have to worry about delaying any important purchasing decisions. As long as you have your account information, you can make purchases whenever you want.

Extra Insurance

You’d like to think that every deposit you make is foolproof, but you never know what can go wrong.

The person that wrote you a cheque may have miscalculated how much they have in their account. It’s even possible that the bank itself could have problems with clearing deposits.

You may not know this, but both the FDIC and NCUA provide $250,000 of federally backed insurance coverage for each depositor. This is done in case of bank failure.

If you open a joint account with your business partner, that $250,000 will turn into $500,000. This can give you some extra much-needed protection in case anything goes wrong. 

Joint Bank Account Cons

So far it may seem like opening a joint account could be the best thing you do for your business, but it isn’t for everyone.

There are plenty of benefits that come with having a joint account, but there are downsides too. Before you decide on opening your joint account, make sure you keep these potential downsides in mind.

No Individual Protection 

Depending on how you set up your account, creditors could have the ability to claim funds in your shared account.

If your partner is going through financial trouble or a legal matter like a divorce or lawsuit, the money you have in your joint account could be used to settle legal matters. 

You may have deposited the vast majority of the money into the account, but since the account will be in both of your names, you could lose money if creditors come after your partner.

Security Concerns 

If you give more than one person access to your secure bank account, you’ll leave yourself open to potential problems with security. 

Your business partner may accidentally lose their wallet or have it stolen. Someone getting a hold of their debit card could be enough to drain the money you have. 

Physical things don’t have to be stolen for your account to be compromised. Logging in to your bank account of a public device and forgetting to log out could be enough to put your business finances at risk.

Choose Wisley 

Ultimately, you should only open a joint bank account with your business partner if you truly trust them. 

You won’t want to share a joint account with someone that has a history of making bad money decisions, isn’t responsible, or could have serious legal trouble on the horizon. 

Do you have more questions about baking for your business? We have a lot of helpful content that can help business owners make the best decisions possible around their banking needs.

Be sure to browse all of the content in our banking tagged posts so you can learn everything you need to know about banking when you own a business.

How to Get a Secured Business Line of Credit the Right Way

A secured business line of credit is one of the best loans an owner can get.

Business is all about maximizing profits and earning a passive income. Unfortunately, not everyone has the necessary funds to start a business. This can leave many people struggling to figure out how they’ll start the business of their dreams.

Businesses borrow money for a variety of reasons, mostly to invest and make purchases benefit them. While there are a plethora of loan types, a line of credit is the only type that allows a business to keep borrowing. 

Keep on reading to learn more about lines of credit and how to get one!

What Is a Secured Business Line of Credit?

A secured business line of credit is a type of loan that you can use whenever you’d like. The line of credit (LOC) is the maximum amount that you’re able to borrow.

One of the most common lines of credit is the credit card. A credit card can be used continuously, so businesses can opt for these or other types of LOC.

If your LOC is £5,000, you can’t borrow past that. However, you can continue to borrow providing that you pay some of the money back. If you’ve maxed out your line of credit, paying off £1,000 would allow you to start borrowing up to £1,000 again. 

What makes a secured line of credit different from an unsecured line of credit is that, unlike an unsecured LOC, you need to provide collateral.

Collateral can come in the form of many things. When it comes to businesses, they’ll usually offer property and equipment as collateral.

Obtaining Traditional Bank Credit

A line of credit can be acquired at most banks and credit institutions. Many businesses will opt for traditional bank credit because it’s secure and can provide a lot of funds. The best private banks have better rates than public ones, so consider that when you’re looking for a loan.

Depending on your credit, you can get a high borrowing limit with low interest rates providing that you’re making minimum payments. 

Newer businesses will need to apply for a secured line of credit because they’ll have a hard time proving their financial eligibility. As your business establishes itself, you can start looking into unsecured LOCs. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay high interest rates if you go for unsecured ones.

Banks often require borrowers to have a good credit score, so it may be difficult to obtain a LOC if you have a poor score or little to no credit history.

Small Business Loans

Small business loans are designed to help startup businesses get their feet off the ground. With this type of loan, you’re guaranteed low interest rates and can borrow several million.

You can get them at most banks, similar to traditional bank credit. Be sure to look at the terms and conditions of the loan. You’ll want to know the interest rate and the duration of the repayment period.

Seeking Out Investors

Seeking an investor is a great source of an LOC because they can provide a cash reserve when you need money. Investors regularly put their money into things like stocks, but you can ask them for direct money and offer them something in return.

When an investor buys a stock, they technically become an owner of the company. If you’re trying to borrow money from them, you could offer partial ownership similar to that of a stock.

You can also work out a deal in which they offer a continuous flow of money, essentially providing you with revolving debt.

No matter what you do, ensure that you have everything in a written, legally binding agreement. This protects both you and your investors in case someone doesn’t fulfil their end of the deal.

How to Guarantee That You’re Approved

Businesses have to go through a business credit application process similar to the loan process that most individuals go through. As an owner, you’ll need to meet with a lender and convince them that you’re suitable for a loan.

Do the following to guarantee that you’re approved:

Improve Your Credit Score

To get a loan of any kind, you’ll need to have a decent credit score. When it comes to a business line of credit, lenders will want to see that you’ve previously had an LOC and have managed to pay it off. 

What builds credit is paying off debt and reducing how much you borrow. The best way to do this is to start putting most of your money into the debt with the highest interest rate. While doing this, make minimum payments on your other debts to continue raising your score.

Bring Financial Records

You need to show up with organized records of your finances. This will include things like documentation of income, previous debts, and receipts of your payments. Being organized will look good to the lender and you’ll be able to present them anything when they ask.

Start Considering a Secured Business Line of Credit

If you own a business or would like to start one, a secured business line of credit can help you get ahead by providing the funds to make bigger purchases. While it’s possible to find success without borrowing, paying out of pocket will be difficult if you don’t have much money saved.

We encourage you to start looking into various banks and decide whether you should get a secured line of credit. If you have the funds to operate a business without borrowing, avoid getting an LOC so that you don’t have to pay interest.

Browse our business section to learn more about business-related finances and tips.

Drawing the Line on Free Business Giveaways

There are few business marketing practices that have stood the test of time as well as free giveaways. Whether offering products or services, this arm of advertising is popular for a reason. It gives customers a chance to get something for nothing, and it gives a business an opportunity to illustrate their strengths to the greater market. When done right, in many ways, it can be a win-win.

With that that in mind, it’s also important to remember that this can be a dangerous game. Making an avoidable mistake, or working without full comprehension of the possible positives and negatives of a position, can put both finances and reputations at risk.

When Should Giveaways be Avoided?

One of the biggest issues with free giveaways is how nebulous the results can be in terms of costs and benefits. Larger businesses might have the ability to hire marketing firms or invest in research to accurately predict the outcome of a free giveaway but, for small to medium-sized businesses, such actions can be an impossibility.

To address this issue, it can be a good idea to look at the worst possible outcome of a free giveaway, and check whether or not a bottom-line can afford the hit. Imagine a struggling Ford garage offering incentive projects where specific vehicles purchased within a set time-frame go into a draw to be fully paid off by the dealership. In the worst-case scenario, no more cars would be sold than usual, effectively adopting an enormous financial hit for zero real monetary rewards.

Businesses also need to know that not all that glitters is gold, and not everything that is offered for free is appreciated. While this is only one aspect of the free giveaway game, it is one of the most fundamental features, which even the biggest businesses can overlook.

Drawing the Line on Free Business Giveaways
Drawing the Line on Free Business Giveaways. Source: Pixabay

Take, for example, how Apple made headlines by giving away a free U2 album to iTunes users back in 2014. Apple saw this is a way to give people some of what everyone loved. Unfortunately for them, they vastly overestimated U2’s actual appeal. On top of this, the act of downloading the album automatically onto people’s devices used up room and bandwidth and messed with their shuffle functions.

In other words, just because you have the stock, doesn’t mean customers will necessarily care. Instead of such a broad shotgun approach, it’s best to narrow your sights to those who show informed interest.

When Should Free Giveaways be Used?

The most important part of this question lies, again, with the potential cost. Can a business afford the cost no matter the outcome? Then, and only then, should the business continue with this plan of action.

In the modern age, free giveaways are used to draw attention to not just a business as a whole, but also to a specific part of a business. This saw an enormous take-off at the turn of the new millennium as businesses increasingly turned to creating their own websites and, more importantly, online ordering systems.

Drawing the Line on Free Business Giveaways
Drawing the Line on Free Business Giveaways. Source: Pixabay

Online ordering and interaction systems are an enormous boost for businesses, in that they free up man-hours for staff, they can handle much more traffic than direct human interaction can, and they can operate 24/7. In these instances, free giveaways tied to online ordering systems could create unprecedented leaps in productivity. Walmart was one such example of this, where already legendary convenience was raised to an entirely new level.

More recently, this has taken the form of mobile-focused ordering systems. As more users turn to mobiles for internet use, this has again pushed for fresh illumination. Again, smaller free promotions can drive engagement, and can help spread word of mouth. This can be especially useful for businesses offering smaller goods and services, as they won’t have to eat significant costs. This might not matter so much for Walmart-sized franchises, but it will for almost everyone else.

Another method, as utilized by some businesses, is to extend already common bonuses one step further. For example, some businesses, such as online casinos for example, have long offered deposit matches as bonuses for new users, to the point where these are usually standard. New casinos, trying something different, turned to giving away no deposit bonuses, effectively one-upping the competition.

Of course, this particular industry can protect itself from what is known as wagering requirements, but the general concept of one-upmanship can still apply to a wide range of other markets.

Looking From Inside and Out

Measuring when a free giveaway is and isn’t worth the effort means walking a balancing act. What works for one industry or business might not work for another, even if the two are nearly identical. Because of this, the most important part is not to get lazy, and not to make assumptions on what will work.

By taking a step back from the industry, and doing individual research on what customers want, it can be possible to gain a much clearer picture. Work for success, but protect against failure. Try something new, but observe what others have done that worked and didn’t. Remember that there is no easy solution, but performed at the right place and the right time, a free giveaway can be a business-saver.

Reed Smith appoints former Deutsche Bank Managing Director in London

LONDON, 7 January UK – Reed Smith today announced that Joe Kohler has joined the firm’s Financial Industry Group, marking another significant addition to its banking advisory and derivatives practice.  Kohler joins Reed Smith from Deutsche Bank, where he served as Managing Director, Legal, Corporate & Investment Banking.  In that role, he co-led the bank’s sales and trading legal function globally, with deep transactional experience across the entirety of the fixed income, currencies and commodities businesses.

Reed Smith appoints former Deutsche Bank Managing Director in London

Over the course of his 18-year career at Deutsche Bank, Kohler led the legal work on many of the largest and most important transactions the bank conducted. He managed Deutsche Bank’s legal department’s response to counterparty defaults, downgrades and worked on enforcement and asset recovery efforts during the credit crisis of 2008. He also worked on the building of the first OTC derivative clearing offerings, on the development of the related market infrastructure and contributed to trade association efforts to standardise the related documents. He then helped shape the bank’s response to new regulatory developments such as EMIR, MiFID II, the collateralisation of uncleared derivatives, Brexit and IBOR reform.  Furthermore, he also has extensive experience of merger and acquisition activity in the financial sector, having led on the acquisition and disposal of many businesses and portfolios.

Kohler has led large teams on strategically critical projects within Deutsche Bank and brings to Reed Smith a deep understanding of the inner workings of the legal department within a global investment bank.  Given his sophisticated knowledge of structured finance and products, expertise across industry asset classes, and litigation and regulatory enforcement experience, and in-house familiarity, Kohler is well placed to add to Reed Smith’s bench strength providing strategic advice to banking clients on these transactions.

“Joe’s arrival adds to the bench strength of the firm’s highly regarded banking advisory and derivatives practice,” said Ed Estrada, global chair of Reed Smith’s Financial Industry Group.  “Joe is immensely respected and regarded within Deutsche Bank and throughout the investment bank community, and his reputation for providing steady and sound leadership on complex transaction and litigation matters as in-house counsel is an invaluable asset that our clients will certainly benefit from.  We are excited to have him join our team.” 

Kohler said, “As an in-house counsel, I wanted the law firms my team instructed to add something to secure a better solution than we could deliver on our own – perhaps insight, experience or capability. I was always reassured when we selected Reed Smith, because they always delivered what we had been looking for, and did so efficiently and with a profound understanding of the commercial context.  I am really excited to be joining Reed Smith’s highly impressive team.”

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a dynamic international law firm dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward. Our belief is that by delivering smarter and more creative legal services, we will not only enrich our clients’ experiences with us, but also support them in achieving their business goals.

Our long-standing relationships, international outlook, and collaborative structure make us the go-to partner for the speedy resolution of complex disputes, transactions, and regulatory matters.

For further information, please visit reedsmith.com.

SMEs in cashflow black hole as they wait for £24bn in late payments

Late payments up more than £10bn in a year

15% of British freelancers spend 4 hours and above a week chasing invoices

CEO of ETZ Payments, Nick Woodward, provides commentary on how late and inconsistent payments are hurting businesses and freelancers alike

Today, new research showed that Small and medium-sized companies are waiting to receive £23.4billion, up from £13billion in 2018. More than half of businesses are chasing money owed, with the bill for trying to collect it hitting £4.4billion, says retail payment authority Pay UK. This comes as ETZ Payments reveals startling national representative research that shows that nearly a sixth of freelance and contract workers spend over 10% of their working week chasing invoices and payments. The new research from PayUK showed that the average amount owed to each firm had risen from £17,000 last year to £25,000 today. This demonstrates that across the board, self-employed contractors, freelancers, and small businesses are under strain. As we near the general election and with almost guaranteed further Brexit uncertainty, SMEs and workers are going through one of the most turbulent periods of their existence.

Nick Woodward, CEO of ETZ Payments, a back-office solution provider for the recruitment sector, offers the following commentary:

“This year and next year will undoubtedly be a turbulent period for small businesses and workers alike with myriad political and economic issues and an increasing amount of late payments. This issue is seriously harming cash flow, investment and growth across the UK economy. There are over 2 million freelancers and 5.7 million SMEs today, and with financial constraints such as chasing invoices, this will harm productivity and profit, and more needs to be done by the next government to ensure that these entrepreneurs, business owners, managers and workers, are paid justly and on time to keep the economy moving.”

Three reasons why Corbyn’s Labour manifesto will bring economic chaos

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party’s radical Marxist manifesto will bring far-reaching economic chaos for Brexit-battered Britain, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The founder and CEO of deVere Group, Nigel Green, is speaking out as the Labour leader unveils his party’s manifesto on Thursday ahead of next month’s general election.

Mr Green says: “Labour’s Marxist manifesto is the most radical and dangerous in decades.

“It would bring far-reaching economic chaos for a Brexit-battered Britain already on the brink.

“Corbyn and McDonnell’s agenda would create a nightmarish scenario that would hit those very people the most that it is proclaiming to try and support and protect.”

He continues: “There are three fundamental reasons why the Corbyn-led Labour manifesto would damage the UK economy.

“First, it would drive down already stagnate business investment in the UK. 

“The mammoth nationalisation programme will leave companies thinking ‘who’s next?’ Plus, the snatching of 10 per cent of the shares in every big company and a significant increase in trade union power, including a return to collective bargaining, will leave UK and international investors justifiably concerned that their investments will not be safe under Labour.

“This will seriously erode any attempts to generate long-term, sustainable economic growth.”

Mr Green goes on to say: “Second, it would trigger an exodus of some of the most successful and wealthiest individuals.

“This would likely be due to concerns regarding Labour’s stance on inheritance tax, income tax, stamp duty and capital gains tax, potentially even capital controls, and the slashing of pensions tax relief.

“Typically, these people have the resources to move to safe lower tax jurisdictions if the tax burden in Britain becomes too great. 

“Should these largely job and wealth-creating, tax-paying individuals quit Britain, the government’s finances will suffer significantly because they contribute a disproportionately large amount to the state’s coffers. Indeed, they prop-up the system.

“And third, a renegotiation of the Brexit deal, which would be put to a second referendum, would create many more months of uncertainty for businesses.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Labour’s economic agenda is a risky gamble. Its potential for serious adverse consequences is massive. 

“And whilst the radical plans are already far-reaching, this might be just the beginning, with more misguided policies to come.”

Atos and Fintech Circeo develop innovative loan management solution for major worldwide retailer

A solution to help run Loan Management from a hybrid cloud leveraging Google Cloud Platform

November 20, 2019 Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, and Circeo, a leading Fintech in developing next-generation retail loans software, today announce the development of an innovative loan management solution built with Google Cloud Platform. Developed initially for the bank subsidiary of a major worldwide retailer, Atos and Circeo will soon begin bringing the solution to market for other customers.

This offering is based on a hybrid cloud solution which combines Google Cloud Platform (GCP) together with Atos’ expertise in end-to-end cloud orchestration and management, and infrastructure services and support. It enables users to benefit from the advantages of a fully-managed and secure cloud service which is seamlessly integrated with Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

With this joint solution, clients can run Fintech software built on Oracle technologies on hybrid cloud infrastructures, and thereby benefit from elasticity, resilience, innovation and pay-per-use models – without the need to redevelop their existing systems. The Google Cloud Atos partnership ensures that the client benefits from direct, secure and high-performance network connectivity, for faster and optimised access to Google Cloud resources.

This new solution from Atos and Circeo will help the end-customer manage peaks of activity in Loans, particularly during sales and specific events such as black Friday thanks to the elasticity and resilience of GCP.

Circeo is an innovative Fintech delivering a next generation flexible digital lending platform, based in the Cloud, which enables tailor-made financial products to be made within just a few days. It is part of Atos’ FinTech Partner Program and one of Atos’ most dynamic Fintech partners.

“This solution demonstrates the unique value we deliver to our customers thanks to our ambitious Fintech Engagement program which aims to bridge the gap between banks and Fintech.” says Wim Los, SVP, global Head of Atos and Google Cloud enhanced Alliance at Atos. “Developed by Atos and Circeo, it is a framework which will be replicated for other clients, on other markets”.

“We are glad for this unique opportunity leverage our global partnership with Atos to promote and implement the Atos-Circeo Retail Lending Factory platform” says Laurent Clerc, Founder and CEO at Circeo“By delivering unique value with Atos, we expand existing client portfolios and onboard new clients into production.”

We’re delighted that Atos and Circeo chose to develop this solution with Google Cloud Platform,” said Rayn Veerubhotla, Director, Partnerships at Google Cloud. “With this solution, customers can modernise their existing infrastructure and begin to take advantage of the core capabilities of Google Cloud.”

Atos was recently recognised as ‘Global breakthrough partner of the year’ by Google Cloud.

About Atos

Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with over 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of over € 11 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos Syntel, and Unify. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information technology space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education as well as multicultural and pluralistic approaches to research that contribute to scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the group enables its customers, employees and collaborators, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably and confidently in the information technology space.

CitySprint recruiting over 500 couriers across the UK for peak season

London, UK, 19th November 2019: CitySprint — the UK’s largest same day distribution company — has announced that 500 additional couriers are required across the UK ahead of the Christmas rush.

Christmas can often be a make-or-break time for many businesses — especially those who operate online and rely on an efficient delivery service to get their goods to their consumers. Peak season traditionally runs from the end of October until the New Year — with CitySprint completing an incredible 600,000+ deliveries during this time lastyear.

New couriers will add to the 5,000-strong fleet to support with seasonal demand — with the business focusing primarily on van couriers to cover increased delivery volume. These couriers are needed across the UK, with a specific focus across the following cities:

  • Central London
  • Manchester
  • Bristol
  • Birmingham
  • Nottingham
  • Leeds
  • Telford
  • Letchworth
  • Cambridge
  • Reading

Speaking about the benefits of delivery work, Stephen Gray, a courier in Wales says: “A friend recommended I apply to be a courier with CitySprint sixteen years ago, so I bought a van, tried it out and I haven’t looked back since. I love the freedom of being a self-employed courier; I meet different people, travel across the country and experience different situations every day — it keeps things exciting! Plus, the team at CitySprint are fantastic. Honestly, if you’re looking for a satisfying job which gives you choice, flexibility and financial security then I suggest you give CitySprint a call!”

Bristol-based courier, Filip Boshnakov, adds: “Before joining CitySprint in 2017 I’d been considering working as a courier for a while. Ultimately, I chose CitySprint because I wanted to work as a self-employed person and valued the freedom attached to the role. The flexible hours, opportunity to meet different people, and the ability to visit different places mean that I can combine work and family commitments whilst also still enjoying the work that I do. Working with CitySprint makes you realise that your job isn’t just a job; you can relish your work and the experiences you face every day here. I would highly recommend joining our team to all of my friends.”

Paul Gisbourne, Chief Operating Officer at CitySprint, commented:With just 36 days to go until Christmas, businesses are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Bolstering fleet numbers will allow us to continue to deliver a first-class service and ensures we stay ahead of our competitors. We know that the Christmas season brings increased pressure, demand and competition for our customers, which is why we are committed to going the extra mile at a time when it matters most.”

For more information on becoming a CitySprint courier, visit and apply today: www.citysprint.co.uk/couriers/christmas-jobs

About CitySprint

  • CitySprint is the UK’s largest privately-owned same day distribution company and is one of the top five same day distribution companies in the world.
  • CitySprint supports businesses across the UK with a range of delivery solutions, including same day, UK overnight and international delivery, bespoke logistics design and specialist services for key sectors such as retail and healthcare.
  • CitySprint has several brands under the CitySprint name, supporting their specialist services. These include CitySprint Health, CitySprint Office, On the dot and Transworld.
  • CitySprint has a regional network of 30+ service centres across the UK with a fleet of over 5,000 vehicles.
  • CitySprint is backed by leading, independent equity house, Dunedin, and private equity specialists, LDC.
  • CitySprint’s unique national same day delivery network can reach over 88% of mainland UK within 60 minutes (source: Crimson & Co.)
  • Download CitySprint’s free app and quote, book and track your courier from the palm of your hand: Google Play / iTunes
  • Website: citysprint.co.uk

Sickness absence is severely impacting UK business – yet take up of key protection benefits is low

Long-term sickness absence is a serious issue with over two-fifths (44%) of UK SMEs reporting at least one employee absent for four weeks or more in the last twelve months, according to research from leading employee benefits provider, Unum.

The majority of SME bosses also said that long-term sickness (absence over six months) of a key employee would have a significant (44%), or even critical (24%), impact on the future success of the business. More than half (55%) said they would do everything they could to aid a member of staff back to work after a period of illness.

Despite the business impact of long-term absence and the employer’s desire to help employees back to work, another recent study by Unum and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), found uptake of core protection benefits to be very low.

According to the Unum and BCC study, only 8% of UK businesses surveyed offered income protection, one of the core products to help businesses and their employees through sickness absence with financial assistance and rehabilitation support. 22% surveyed said they offered Life Insurance, just 9% offered Critical Illness Insurance, while 22% said that they provide nothing at all in the form of financial protection benefits.

Alongside financial protection and rehabilitation support, fast access to early clinical help can be invaluable to employers and their employees. With that in mind, Unum has launched a new easy to use app ‘[email protected]’ as part of its Group Income Protection product to give employees and their families fast access to remote GPs, second medical opinions, physiotherapy and mental health services.

Peter O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer, Unum UK, said: Illness and long-term sickness absence can have a serious impact on individuals and their families as well as to businesses of all sizes and across every sector. At Unum, we want to help businesses of all sizes put in place the necessary services and products to enable them to manage this effectively.

“As evidenced in the recent Government consultation – ‘Health is everyone’s business’ – the government is also placing greater importance on the role of employers in keeping people in work. Good employers want to support employees when they are unwell as our research shows, and making our services more modern and helping them better understand how products like Group income protection can help, is an important place to start.”

About Unum

Unum is a leading employee benefits provider offering financial protection through the workplace including: Income Protection, Life insurance, Critical Illness, and Dental cover.

Our Income Protection customers have access to medical and vocational rehabilitation expertise designed to help people stay in work and return to work following illness and injury.

Unum LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme, provides help and advice on a range of work/life issues.

Our Critical Illness customers can access our Cancer Support Service, providing personalised support for employees with a cancer diagnosis.

We are committed to workplace wellbeing for both employees and employers. We have a wide range of tools designed to help businesses create or enhance their employee wellbeing strategy, including our Mental Health Pathway and Wellbeing Calendar.

At the end of 2018, Unum protected 1.4 million people in the UK and paid claims of £314 million – representing in excess of £6 million a week in benefits to our customers – providing security and peace of mind to individuals and their families.

Our parent company, Unum Group, is a provider of employee benefits products and services in the United States, including group and individual disability insurance. Premium income for Unum Group and its subsidiaries totalled $9.0bn in the year ended 31 December 2018, with reported revenues for the group totalling $11.6bn and total assets of $61.9bn.

A.M Best has given all rated Unum Group companies an Excellent rating for Financial Strength, with a stable outlook.

For more information please visit http://www.unum.co.uk.

Unum Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Unum Dental is a trading name of Unum Limited. Registered in England 983768.

About the British Chambers of Commerce

The British Chambers of Commerce surveyed 1,000 business leaders online between 29 April and 16 May 2019. Around 91% of participants were SMEs.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful network of 53 Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. Our Global Business Network connects exporters with over 50 markets around the world. For more information, visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk