PARENTS ‘SUFFER AT WORK’ BY CARING FOR SICK CHILDREN
• Three out of four parents say time off to look after children has an impact on their job
• More than half are worried about the costs of having to take time off to look after children
Parents are paying the price for taking time off work to look after sick or injured children in the shape of extra costs, cancelled holidays, unpaid leave and increased stress, new research1 from MetLife UK shows.
More than three out of four (76%) parents taking time off work to care for children in the past two years say it has had an impact at work, the MetLife UK study found. The worst-affected are self-employed parents with more than two out of five (43%) losing jobs or contracts as a result.
More than half (54%) of working parents are concerned about the potential costs of taking time off work to look after children. The research shows the need to take time off is very likely with nearly one in five (18%) taking days off in the past two years to care for children injured in accidents and 46% taking time off to look after sick children. Around one in four (23%) have had to stay overnight or longer in hospital with children.
The biggest impact from taking time off to look after children is having to use up holidays – 40% of those questioned said they or their partner had to count time off as part of their holiday entitlement while 31% were made to take unpaid leave from work.
Nearly two out of five (36%) say time off to look after children has meant increased stress while 13% say they have been landed with extra bills as a result.
Parents recognise the benefits of having financial protection for their children in the event of accidents or hospital stays – around 57% questioned said protection was important. However just around half of them actually have financial protection for their children or are considering buying it.
Around 28% say protection is important but do not believe they can afford it while 29% say they are not aware protection specifically for children is available.
MetLife’s MultiProtect insurance, which covers adults for accidents and hospital stays and can be extended to children for just £1 a month for all children in the household, offers a solution for millions – last year2 around one in three claims on the policy were for children and around 5,600 claims were for hospital stays.
Richard Horner, Head of Individual Protection, MetLife UK said: "Balancing work and family life leads to all sorts of pressures for working parents and the pressure intensifies when children are sick or injured and their parents need to take time off work.
"Parents are paying the price in unpaid leave, lost holiday entitlement and extra bills for looking after children. This makes it important that they look at how they can protect their family.
"Cover which can pay out when children are sick or injured should be the foundation of family protection which enables families and individuals to concentrate on getting better rather than worrying about money. With 11.5 million people in the UK with less than £100 in savings to fall back on, taking time off unpaid can quickly cause financial problems to escalate"3.
MultiProtect offers cover for between £8 and £40 a month and does not require medical underwriting, with customers being able to get covered in under 4 minutes. Families can add optional cover for children up to the age of 23 in full-time education from £1 extra per month and if both parents select the cover they can protect children twice.
Key benefits with MultiProtect include cover for a range of accidental injuries such as broken bones and for UK hospital stays. Maximum payouts are up to £250 a day for UK hospital stays; £3,750 for broken bones; £250,000 for total permanent disability; and £200,000 for accidental death. Customers can take out a policy from age 18 up to their 60th birthday and cover will continue until they reach 70.
1 Research carried out by Consumer Intelligence using an online methodology to question 1,064 working adults aged 18-plus between March 26th and March 27th 2019
2 MetLife claims data 2018
3 MAS Listening Document
Notes to Editors
The references to "MetLife" are general references to the group as a whole and not to specific entities within the group. MetLife in the UK comprises a number of different companies.
MetLife Europe d.a.c. is an Irish insurance company based in Dublin with Dirk Ostijn as Chief Executive Officer. MetLife Europe d.a.c. provides financial products into the UK via its UK branch, of which Dominic Grinstead is the branch manager. Key personnel within MetLife UK are Adrian Matthews, Employee Benefits Director and Jo Elphick, Marketing Director.
MetLife Europe Services Limited is an Irish services company, which distributes MetLife Europe d.a.c.’s products to Independent Financial Advisers via its UK branch.
MetLife Europe d.a.c. (415123) and MetLife Europe Services Limited (472359) are incorporated in Ireland and are authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. The registered address of both companies is 20 on Hatch, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland and the UK branch address for both companies is One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AA. Website: http://www.metlife.co.uk
MetLife Europe d.a.c. is affiliated with US-based MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), which through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("MetLife"), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
For further information, please contact:
Jo Riddell +44 (0) 207 715 2310
Head of UK and Western and Central Europe Communications, MetLife