This week’s Spring Budget promises to be a crucial moment for the government to recognise the UK’s growing health crisis and to incentivise businesses to step in and protect the health of their employees.  

Brett Hill, Head of Health & Protection at leading independent consultancy said“Ahead of this week’s Spring Statement, it is clear that the government is beginning to grasp the importance of the nation’s deteriorating health and how businesses can drive positive change. 

“The creation of a new Occupational Health taskforce in the last couple of the weeks will hopefully prove to be just the first in a series of healthcare reforms that could encourage employer-led support to alleviate the strain on a groaning public health service.

 
 

“We support calls for the creation of an annual tax-free allowance of at least £2,500 per employee per year (thereby raising the current cap of £500) for non-taxable employee benefits to support employer-led health programmes. 

“This could incentivise more businesses to provide assessment and treatment services, focused on the main drivers of economic inactivity due to chronic illness and injury.

“The Spring Budget provides the opportunity for further guidance on how the abolition of the Lifetime Allowance will impact lump sum death benefits payable under Group Life schemes. 

 
 

“Ideally, we would like to see the Lump Sum and Death Benefit Allowance (the replacement for the LTA) removed completely in respect of Group Life insurance because we don’t believe death benefits should be linked to pensions legislation or be subject to tax.

“Finally, one simple, tax-cutting measure the Chancellor could take would be a carve-out of P11(d) liability for employer funded health benefits. More employers are showing an interest in providing health benefits to employees, something that could materially ease the strain on the public health system and support a healthier workforce, yet the P11(d) liability on such benefits actively discourages employees from taking advantage of them, especially lower paid employees still struggling to restore household finances in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis. 

“Where employers are willing to step forward, take responsibility and offer healthcare benefits to employees, it makes no sense for the tax system to discourage employees from accepting them.”

 
 

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