Inspire spring 2024

The latest health and wellbeing news from Towergate Health & Protection

Welcome to the latest edition of Inspire, our quarterly newsletter, designed to keep you informed about issues and developments that are relevant to your business.

In this edition of Inspire, we explore the Carer's Leave Act. We also discuss how to build your financial resilience, offer tips on how to build a culture of wellbeing, discuss menopause in the workplace, and the importance of cancer screening. Finally we talk about how understanding cyber security could help your business, as well as providing updates on the latest news from key insurers.

Is your business ready for the Carer's Leave Act?

75% of carers worry about continuing to juggle work and care responsibilities, with 65% giving up workplace opportunities due to their caring role.1 The highly anticipated Carer’s Leave Act, which comes into force on 6 April, will be supporting the over 2 million employees with caring duties.


Employees need to be living in England, Scotland, or Wales to qualify, and be providing long-term care. The regulations include:

  • Carer’s leave to be flexible. It may be taken in half or full days, or as a block of time such as one whole week
  • The notice period offered by the employee needs to be twice the length of time that needs to be taken in advance of the first day of leave
  • An employee does not necessarily need to notify their employer in writing with their Carer’s Leave request, but they may do so if preferred
  • Carer’s Leave will have the same employment protections as associated with other forms of family related leave. This includes protection from dismissal or detriment as a result of taking leave

As an employer, ensuring your workplace supports employees who have caring responsibilities is crucial for retention strategies. One option is offering Yurtle to employees. Yurtle is a care management platform which fights the key drivers of caregiver burnout and equips employees with the tools to thrive in their homelife and at work.

Yurtle offers caregiver insurance, back-up care options to source domiciliary care within hours, the opportunity to create a shared caring calendar between other caregivers, educational resources, and care-specific related discounts.

Contact your Towergate Health & Protection consultant if you would like to know more about how Yurtle could help your business.

Right to Carer's Leave | Carers UK
The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 (
1State of caring 2022 report (

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Building your financial resilience

Financial stability has an incredibly strong impact on our mental health, with 57% of those with a mental health condition citing that thinking of their finances induced anxiety.1 86% of people claim that their financial circumstances have worsened their mental health, while almost one in five (18%) with a mental health condition are in problem debt – three times higher than those without mental health complications.2


Being better with our money has never been more important, with rising household costs and inflation affecting all of us, regardless of circumstance. Our six core tips for building your financial resilience are as follows:

1. Budget

Learn how to analyse your income, expenses, and find where you can improve through budgeting. Money Saving Expert has a starting budgeting tool for free here

2. Seek advice

Utilise your employee assistance programme or financial services benefits for free, tailored advice if you are experiencing financial difficulties or are unsure of how to best plan your finances for significant life changes

3. Compare

Regularly compare service providers and negotiate with existing providers to keep your regular bills at a competitive rate. Services such as ismybillfair can offer you the best deals while remaining with your current providers for bills such as broadband and energy

4. Prepare

Set aside an emergency fund to avoid the need for high interest loans  

5. Protect

Analyse what area of your life you need to protect the most. Explore options such as critical illness that may be available at a lower cost via your employer, and ensure you’re utilising your life assurance and income protection options

6. Don’t forget your employee benefits

Explore the breadth of possibilities from your employer. You may qualify for complimentary benefits, free eye tests, cashback on everyday healthcare costs, shopping discounts, and free counselling via an employee assistance programme

If you would like to learn more about building your financial resilience and how to be better with money, register for our free webinar. If you cannot attend, a live recording will be issued to all registrants after the event.

Date: 12 March

Time: 12:00pm

Register here

1 More than half of people with mental health problems feel anxious when thinking about money | Money and Pensions Service (
2 Money and mental health facts and statistics

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How to build a culture of wellness

New research has discovered that UK employees lose nearly one day per week on average to poor mental and physical wellbeing. The average loss is estimated to 43.6 days a year, rising to 59.7 days for employees under 30 due to the higher level of mental health concerns.1


Mental Health England cites that 57% of all working days lost to sickness are mental health related, at a staggering cost of £1,652 per employee per year.2

This is why the return on investment on mental health support programmes are generally cited at 5:1 – it’s crucial for employers to take their workforce’s mental and physical health concerns seriously for a productive workforce.3

How can employers support their employee’s mental health, and in return see a more productive business?

1. Employee assistance programmes (EAPs)

EAPs offer free counselling available via telephone, online, or potentially face-to-face (provider depending), in addition to 24/7 helplines to support employees with a variety of concerns. All advice is confidential with the EAP provider and not shared with employers

2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies

Ensure your DE&I policies are up-to-date, and all employees know where to find them. Employees are likely to experience poor mental health if they feel any degree of bullying or victimisation at work, and having clear policies and regular training supports a more inclusive workplace

3. Employee wellbeing apps

Employee wellbeing apps are becoming a rapidly growing industry. They can offer personalised health checks, tailored fitness and movement challenges, nutritional guidance, video content centred around wellbeing, goal tracking, virtual GP services, and advice helplines

4. Supporting social wellbeing

Supporting a culture of socialising, especially in hybrid workplaces, can boost the trust between your employees in addition to wellbeing. Facilitate and promote activities such as lunchtime yoga, group meditation, or create workplace sports teams

5. Take it outside

Encourage your workforce to take their meetings outside, or even for a walk, when the weather permits. Nature and exercise boost our levels of serotonin, and counters potential office burnout. This is particularly helpful for those prone to musculoskeletal issues due to elongated periods of sitting

6. Integrate with the community

Offering a volunteering programme is an incredible way to meet your corporate sustainable responsibility targets while allowing employees to gain social value by contributing their time to a local cause. If you already have a volunteering programme, explore how this can be promoted better and potentially organise group volunteering with colleagues for further team building opportunities

7. Lead by example

Leadership style has a significant ripple effect on the workforce and will encourage employees to follow suit. Having leaders take walking meetings, volunteer, join lunchtime movement activities, promoting DE&I, will assist in creating your workplace culture where these become standard practice

8. Mental health first aiders

Employees can receive specialist workplace mental health first aid training to be qualified to support their peers, encourage a culture of talking, and promote mental health campaigns. Mental health first aiders can also act as valuable researchers to feedback to leadership, assisting in strategies such as recruitment and retention

9. Offer healthy nutritional options

Did you know free snacks at work are the second most desired workplace perk - after gym membership - and increases workplace happiness by an average 11%?4 Fruit is known for its high nutritional value and is a great option to offer to employees. Not only does it save the employee money, but it helps them make healthy nutritional choices easily

10. Analyse your benefits package

We all want to feel valued by our employer, and benefits packages are the perfect way to show your workforce how much you care. From discounted gym membership to health assessments, from eye test vouchers to discounted physiotherapy, your benefits package can be as individual as your business and tailored to your workforce’s needs and demographic

2 Mental Health at Work: Improving Workplace Mental Health
3 Poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year | Deloitte UK
4 20 Office Snacks Statistics for 2024 | Shortlister (

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Menopause in the workplace

New guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) states that if a woman experiencing menopausal symptoms has a substantial or long-term impact on their ability to work, they may be classed as having a disability and have their rights protected under the Equality Act 2010.


This means employers must make reasonable adjustments accordingly and offers a legal obligation that women should not be discriminated against on account of their symptoms. As 10% of women feel discriminated against because of their symptoms, the change has caused a significant impact on women in work.1

Those experiencing menopausal symptoms find their ability to work greatly conflicted. 67% report that symptoms have had a negative impact on work, with 79% less able to concentrate, 68% experiencing more stress, and 46% feeling less able to physically carry out work tasks.2

Not making reasonable adjustments as an employer can have a substantial impact, with one in ten women leaving their workplace during the menopause due to their symptoms,3 and 53% citing the need for sick days to cope.2

How can employers offer more supportive workplace environments for those living with menopausal symptoms?

Flexible working

67% of women feel that offering home, hybrid and flexible hours would support the management of symptoms better.1

Temperature control

Issues with temperature are highly reported as a symptom, so the ability to adjust office temperature may help benefit the team.

Flexible office clothing policy

Over-heating is a frequent symptom, as is sweating, so allowing flexible clothing policies ensures employees can wear comfortable clothes adjustable to their body temperature.

Offer staff training, particularly for line managers

Ensures staff are aware of changes needed in the workplace and how to support their colleagues' experiencing symptoms.

Workplace risk assessments for menopausal women

Allows adequate space for offices to be reviewed to ensure they are best serving menopausal employees and are not worsening symptoms.

Offer quiet rooms for office workers

To aide those experiencing stress or difficulty with colleague interactions by utilising a quiet area, as 49% of menopausal women report feeling less patient with colleagues.2

Offer easy access toilet and shower facilities

Allows employees swift access to freshen up and use bathroom facilities as needed.

Nurture a culture of work-life balance to manage stress

Targets the symptom of stress in the workplace by encouraging staff to maintain healthy boundaries between work and their personal life.

1 Menopause in the workplace | CIPD
2 Menopause in the workplace: Guidance for employers | EHRC (
3 Menopause and the Workplace (

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Why health screening is vital

The discussion of health screening has heightened following the news of King Charles receiving an ‘incidental cancer diagnosis’ after treatment for an alternative condition.


66,000 Brits have been diagnosed through incidental cancer diagnosis in the last twelve months, with the NHS targeting to offer treatment within 62 days of suspected cancer. However, one in four are experiencing longer delays in receiving treatment.1

With 1 in 2 of us developing cancer at some point in our lives,2 and someone in the UK receiving a diagnosis every 2 minutes,3 it is only natural that many of us live in worry of a diagnosis.

Research shows that early cancer diagnosis is key to higher survival rates.4 Accessing swift diagnosis can be a stressful experience for those with symptoms of cancer. Only 74.2% of people were diagnosed – or had cancer ruled out – within 28 days of urgent referral from their GP in December 2023.5 While earlier stage cancer is the most treatable, only 52% of cancers were diagnosed by the NHS in stage one or two.6

Private healthcare providers such as Check4Cancer can offer swift, at home or in clinic testing services for further reassurance should you be concerned with NHS waiting lists and your symptoms. Any diagnoses are referred immediately to the NHS or private healthcare providers for treatment, with support for the individual from trained professionals. Check4Cancer offer the following tests:

  • Bowel cancer (all genders 45+)
  • Breast cancer (all genders 18+)
  • Breast cancer risk assessment (women 30+)
  • Cancer genetic testing (for all those with strong family history of bowel, breast, prostate, or ovarian cancer)
  • Cervical cancer (women 25+)
  • Lung cancer (all genders 50+)
  • Prostate cancer (men 40+)
  • Skin cancer (inc. mole checking)

Find out more

1 How common is King's incidental cancer diagnosis? - BBC News
2 1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer - Cancer Research UK - Cancer News
3 Cancer Statistics for the UK (
4 NHS England » Earlier diagnosis
5 Cancer waiting times: Latest updates and analysis (
6 Case-mix adjusted percentage of cancers diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 in England, 2020 - NHS Digital

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Understanding cyber attacks

Did you know 46% of UK businesses have experienced a cyber attack, yet only 15% have a formal cyber security incident plan?1


A cyber attack is an attempt to gain unauthorised access virtually or remotely to a digital based system to steal or extort information for financial or power gain and costs the UK business economy approximately £21 billion each year, with the UK being the second most-targeted country for cyber-attacks after the US.

The implications from a business perspective can be much broader than the direct attack itself, creating a ripple effect across business continuity, financial loss, data breaches and/or loss, reputational damage, and exposure to customer or client data security. The average cost of a cyber attack to a UK business is £9,270.

There are four core types of cyber threat: malware, phishing, ransomware, and social engineering.


Malware, or ‘malicious software’, is designed to exploit information or cause damage to digital systems. Malware has grown to carry out numerous functions and can be recoded to perform different tasks once begun. There are many types of malware, including:

  • Bots – in malware context, bots can create significant harm and can steal data and sensitive information, can carry out denial-of service attacks and cause website crashes
  • Spyware – designed to target and infiltrate a computer and record information such as bank details which can be sold on
  • Trojans – used to carry programmes which allow attackers unauthorised access to personal data and private log ins, and can deploy ransomware and spyware
  • Worms – spread and infect multiple computers through damage or disruption, causing increased network traffic, known as a denial-of-service attack
  • Viruses – a programme that inserts its own code into another programme to modify or corrupt its host computer and lets the infection spread 


Phishing attacks are often deployed in the guise of emails or text messages designed to appear from a legitimate source – such as HMRC, your HR department, a supplier. The content is normally urgent and encourages click throughs to a spoofed website designed to obtain sensitive information or encourage downloads carrying malware. Phishing attacks are the most common in the UK, making up 44% of all cyber attacks.


A popular subset of malicious software which blocks access to computer files until a sum of money is paid. In the past year, ransomware attacks have risen by 70% in the UK.

Social engineering

Exploits sensitive information like passwords from individuals through manipulative communication such as email, phone call or text, pretending to be a senior colleague or trusted company resource and using a familiar tone of voice. Similar to phishing, there is normally a need for urgency and revealing of sensitive information.

Protecting your business from cyber attacks can be complicated and often overlooked in business strategies. To discuss cyber security and attack insurance policies, ask your Towergate Health & Protection consultant to refer you to one of our expert colleagues at our sister company, Towergate Insurance. 


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Latest news from the insurers

Have you heard the latest from the insurers?

Here are the most recent updates from key providers Aviva, AXA, Bupa, Legal & General, Medicash, Simplyhealth, Unum, and Vitality.



30 January 2024 – People live life how they wish while hoping cancer won’t happen to them

New research finds 59% people live life how they wish despite cancer worry, with 20% putting their lives at risk due to lifestyle factors.

12 February 2024 – Mental health claims for children and young people up 25%

A stark increase since 2022 is led by increased demand for depression and anxiety support.


23 February 2024 - AXA Health strengthens online healthcare offering with acquisition of HBSUK

AXA Health has announced the acquisition of HBSUK, an online out-patient service provider which helps to deliver safe and effective treatment in a fast and efficient way.


31 January 2024 – Over a million women keep period sick days secret

New research shows 35% of women lie to management over sick days needed from period pain.

1 February 2024 – Bupa offers period plan benefit to all UK employees

Bupa’s Period Plan benefit is being offered free of charge to all UK-based permanent and fixed term Bupa employees.

Legal & General

2 January 2024 – Cost of living pressures delaying thousands of divorces

New research discovers 13% couples are delaying divorce due to financial pressure, but only 7% consult with a financial adviser.

10 January 2024 – Family care saves young parents £38 billion a year

In the last year, 42% of parents and grandparents over 55 have assisted in younger generation childcare.


8 February 2024 - Medicash partners with Muhdo to offer cutting-edge DNA health insights package

Medicash has announced a collaboration to offer Medicash policyholders an exclusive opportunity to access Muhdo’s cutting-edge DNA insights package.


24 January 2024 – Simplyhealth launches Women’s Healthcare Charity Alliance

Four leading charities have partnered with health plan provider Simplyhealth in a groundbreaking Women’s Healthcare Charity Alliance.

1 February 2024 – UK in a workplace health crisis

27% of Brits report back pain at work and accounts for 8 million sick days a year, with 6 million more considering quitting due to general health problems.


8 January 2024 – Unum enhances carers leave for employees

Ahead of The Carers Leave Act 2023 coming into force, Unum extends its policy to include 5 additional paid days of leave for carers.

15 January 2024 – Unhappy employees waste a fortnight a year on presenteeism

Unhappy employees spend an average of 9 days absent from work through being unwell or unable to perform their role appropriately.


23 January 2024 - Poor health at work is responsible for £138bn loss to UK economy each year

Research conducted by Vitality found poor health costs the UK economy an estimated £138 billion per year due to absence and impact on productivity at work.

15 February 2024 – Only 5% discuss later-life care cost with adviser despite fears

New research cites that 74% of Brits believe they will need later-life care, with 48% believing they won’t be able to afford it.

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