During Cancer Prevention Week, Government is urged to consider providing tax relief to support employers and employee health benefits.
About 100,000 employees in the working population are diagnosed with cancer each year and PSHPC argues that if the government created more employer incentives to provide relevant support, this could massively reduce the financial burden on the employee when their focus should be on treatment and recovery plans. “In a society where our Welfare State and the NHS are under such pressure and where we want to support employees who are impacted by serious ill health, the argument is clear: Employer funded health benefits need an advantageous tax provision to enable more employers to provide more support for their staff,” says PSHPC director John Dean. “For example, if a caring employer provides an Income Protection policy which allows continuous salary in the event of serious ill health, the costs of this benefit are magnified by the fact that the sickness benefit is subject to income tax. So if the Government wants employers to support ill employees, the simplest way to kick start an increase in private provision is to reduce tax and the benefit which in turn, would substantially reduce insurance premiums and the burden on the NHS and Welfare benefits. “Life Assurance is the most popular employee benefit in the UK, probably because it is tax free and so is the payment when someone dies. If the same tax treatment was applied to Income Protection we could see a real increase in the provision of this kind of benefit which will provide invaluable support to the long term sick.”