Over half of employees have suffered redundancy or long-term sickness

More than half of all employees in the UK have been made redundant or suffered long-term illness during their working life, according to a new report …

More than half of all employees in the UK have been made redundant or suffered long-term illness during their working life, according to a new report by MetLife Employee Benefits.

The study reveals one in three (32 per cent) workers have been made redundant at some stage in their career, equating to over 9.3 million employees, while nearly a quarter (23 per cent), or 6.7 million people, have been off work for periods longer than four weeks.

Men are more likely to have been hit with redundancy with more than a third (36 per cent) losing their jobs compared to a quarter (27 per cent) of female staff. However, women are more likely to have suffered long-term illness with one in four (26 per cent) taking time off for this reason compared with one-fifth (21 per cent) of men.

Two in five workers admitted they could not afford to live on statutory sick pay, which is currently £86.70 a week, highlighting the value of income protection insurance.

Some 41 per cent of respondents believe they could not survive for longer than a month, which is very worrying.

Geographically, workers in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are the most likely to have suffered redundancy with 39 per cent reporting losing their job, while employees in London are the least likely to be made redundant at just 21 per cent.

Tom Gaynor, employee benefits director at MetLife UK said the tough economic climate has increased the financial pressures on all workers and their families and the risk of redundancy through no fault of their own is real. 

"The risk of long-term ill-health during a working life is also an issue that employees need to be aware of and to guard against where possible. Many employers are generous but it is clear that Statutory Sick Pay would be a financial shock for millions," he added.

Losing your job can be incredibly stressful, especially for those lumbered with debt. It is important to be prepared for such an occasion by using debt management and insuring against a loss of income.

By Joe White

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