Are you one of the millions of people in the UK worried about work? Is the workplace environment creating anxiety, pressure and stress? Are you concerned about your income in the short, medium or long-term?
Are you potentially looking at a redundancy package in the short-term? These are very common questions across the UK, but thankfully there are some very simple solutions.
Workplace Stress Symptoms
If you have unfounded worries about work, you’re suffering from anxiety – speak to your doctor and your manager for support on how to tackle it. If you’re worried about redundancy, income protection insurance can provide reassuring financial backup.
If there are issues which need to be addressed in the workplace, perhaps you are struggling to hit ever-tougher deadlines, or there is a threat of redundancy, there are actions you can take.
Whether looking at an income protection policy or reporting inappropriate activity in the workplace to your employers, it is better to nip things in the bud as soon as possible. Be proactive rather than reactive.
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We update all our guides regularly. If you are researching the Income Protection and we haven’t got an exact guide that helps you, keep coming back as we update daily.
What Are the Common Causes of Stress in the Workplace?
There are numerous causes of stress in the workplace, some of which are unique to certain employment positions. However, some of the more common issues include:-
- Threat of redundancy
- Over time pressure due to staff cutbacks
- Constant and building pressure on deadlines
- Higher expectations
- Lack of control on work schedule
- Heated debates with colleagues
The vast majority of people reading this list will be able to relate to some of the common causes of stress in the workplace. Stress in moderation is good because it focuses on the mind, but when it becomes overpowering, it can have serious medical consequences.
Common Signs That You May Be Stressed in the Workplace
There are numerous signs that you may be stressed in the workplace; some of the more common symptoms include:
- Social withdrawal
- Constance stomach problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritability and anxiousness
- Constant headaches and muscle tension
- Unhelpful coping measures such as alcohol/drug abuse
- Constant dread going to work
In isolation, the above signs of stress in the workplace are manageable, but when you experience two, three or more issues at the same time, they can be overpowering. If you believe that you are getting excessively stressed in the workplace, you should advise your employer and take the appropriate action.
The longer you leave it, the worse it will get!
Who Can I Turn to When Experiencing Excessive Pressure and Stress in the Workplace?
At the first sign of excessive stress/pressure in the workplace, you should look to relieve the pressure and confide in others. Many people find it useful to speak with:-
- Family and friends
- Like-minded people
While the old adage “a problem shared is a problem halved” is often mocked, this is probably one of those situations where it can be useful to offload your problems to trusted third parties.
Unfortunately, there are very few if any people who will not go through their working life without experiencing bouts of extreme pressure/stress. It is part of the workplace; the key, however, is to learn ways to handle this pressure and keep on an even keel.
Learn to Take Control of Your Schedule
The main reason for excessive pressure and stress in the workplace is often a loss of control. Therefore, it is very important to retake control of your working schedule and your working life. Simple actions such as:-
- Taking regular breaks
- Don’t over commit yourself
- Create a balanced schedule
- Give yourself time to settle in the morning
- Question unrealistic deadlines
- Find a balance between speed and accuracy
The key to managing stress and pressure in the workplace is to address each issue in isolation. As you take control of one area of your working life, this can become infectious and have a knock-on effect on other stressful areas.
Before you know it, you have a new routine, greater control and while stress/pressure is part of the workplace, avoiding excessive stress and pressure will make you more productive.
Unhelpful Habits in the Workplace Which Build Stress and Pressure
We all do it, taking on additional tasks or unrealistic deadlines only to immediately regret it. Some of the more common unhelpful habits in the workplace include:-
- Avoid perfection; it is not possible!
- Turn a negative situation into a positive opportunity
- If it’s out of your control, don’t stress about it
- Laughter is infectious, enjoy work
- A tidy workspace equals a tidy mind
Identifying potentially stressful/pressure situations in the workplace is not always easy when you are directly involved. However, there are many different actions you can take to make your working life much more enjoyable.
How Can I Take Back Control of My Working Environment?
It can be very easy to lose control of your working environment and see the development of stress and anxiety. It is, therefore, important to take back control of your working environment as soon as possible. If you are being bullied, given targets which are not reachable or simply being pushed too hard, then you should contact your HR department.
A recent survey confirmed that while 41% of the general public have life insurance and 16% have private health insurance, only 9% have income protection insurance.
Is My Employer Legally Obliged to Look After My Welfare?
Yes. Various acts such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 place a legal obligation on your employer to protect your health and well-being. Whether asking an employee to do a job they are not trained for, bullying in the workplace or simply pushing employees too far, they all come under this obligation.
If you have issues in the workplace, then it is very important you make your employer aware of them as soon as possible. It is only then that they can actually do something about it with many companies having a formal process to follow.
How Can I Protect Myself From Redundancy?
In difficult times many companies will look to reduce various running costs, one of which might be their staffing costs. As a consequence, they may offer voluntary redundancies or proceed with compulsory redundancies after a period of consultation with employees. If you are concerned about the potential risk of redundancy, then it may be useful to look at income protection insurance.
What Is Income Protection Insurance?
The details of each income protection policy will vary with traditional policies covering those unable to work as a consequence of illness/injury. However, it should be possible to add unemployment/redundancy cover to your policy and secure at least an element of your regular income if you were made redundant.
These policies are designed to offer short term assistance and only tend to payout for a maximum of 12 months (possibly longer in certain circumstances).
Will My Redundancy Package Impact Payments From My Income Protection Insurance?
No. What tends to happen is that your policy will have a deferral period which can be anything from four weeks to a couple of years. During this period, no payments will be made from your income protection policy. However, if you are still unemployed when the deferral period ends, then payments will commence.
The level of redundancy received from your employer has no bearing on the timing and amount of money to be paid out by your income protection insurance policy.
What Level of Income Might I Receive After Being Made Redundant?
Traditionally if you have unemployment/redundancy cover, then you should receive income of between 50% and 70% of your gross monthly salary. The higher the figure, the greater the premiums as there is an increased liability on the insurance company. It is worth noting that income protection payments are tax-free.
What Level of Income Should I Stipulate in My Income Protection Policy?
The best way to calculate the minimum level of income you require from your income protection policy is to work backwards. Look at all of your monthly outgoings and calculate the minimum figure required to cover your financial liabilities/living expenses.
Then, depending on other income streams, you could consider adding a buffer above and beyond your monthly requirement. It is then a case of calculating whether you can afford the premiums for your preferred payment level.
The Stress/Anxiety Is Building at Work, What Happens if I Am Forced to Take Time Off?
Unfortunately, stress and anxiety are often a byproduct of difficult economic times and can on occasion lead to time off work. In these scenarios, it is important to be aware of your employer’s attitude to sick pay, when it kicks in, the level of payment and whether there is any stepping down of payments over a long period of absence.
Some employers may simply revert to statutory sick pay which is a maximum of £96 a week – often nowhere near enough to cover your ongoing liabilities.
If My Employer Pays the Full Salary for Three Months, Will I Need Income Protection Insurance?
Income protection insurance is simply that, an insurance policy which is there as and when required. If stress and anxiety forced you into a six-month absence from work, then you might receive full pay from your employer for the first three months.
At this point, they may then revert back to basic statutory sick pay which is paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. So, how would you survive on statutory sick pay going forward?
This is where the deferral period comes in very useful. If you know that your employer will provide full payment for the first three months of sickness and then revert to statutory sick pay, you can add a three month deferral period to your income protection policy.
So, after three months, your income protection policy would be activated, and payments commence. The deferral period is also very useful in reducing premiums as the greater the deferred period, the less liability for the insurance company and the lower your premiums.
We all worry about our employment at some point whether as a consequence of the economy, anxiety and stress in the workplace or the threat of redundancy. Income protection insurance will cover you in the event of absence from the workplace as a consequence of illness/injury with an option to add redundancy cover.
As a means of getting you by until you return to work/alternative employment can be found, this type of insurance can be priceless.
Quick Income Protection FAQs
The cost of income protection insurance will depend upon your individual scenario and your requirements. The long-term income protection cover is more expensive as it could payout for a number of years in various scenarios.
Short-term income protection is limited to between 12 months and 24 months per claim per condition and is, therefore, less of a liability for the insurance company.
While in exceptional circumstances, you may see unemployment protection extended to 24 months, the normal duration is 12 months. All policies include an initial period when no payments are made, which can be anything between 4 weeks and two years.
The deferral period would depend on your redundancy package, level of savings and financial liabilities.
When taking out an income protection policy, which includes redundancy insurance, you need to specify your salary at the time. There is some variation in the level of funds made available under this type of policy, but it tends to vary between 50% and 70% of your regular monthly income.
So for example, if prior to being made redundant you earned £2000 a month before tax, you would receive between £1000 and £1400 a month if made redundant.
How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With an Income Protection Insurance?
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Income Protection Insurance brokers. They have already helped thousands of people get the best Income Protection Insurance cover and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these brokers who can provide you with a ‘whole market quote’ then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.