Over half of UK workers are unable to survive financially for more than three months

New research from Aviva reveals that over half of UK workers (52 per cent) would be unable to survive financially for more than three months if they were off work with an illness. Around a third (30 per cent) say they would survive for less than a month. Less than one in ten (9 per cent) say they would remain solvent for a year or more.


Unsurprisingly, nearly seven in ten workers (65 per cent) cite financial concerns as the main reason to get back to work quickly if they are off sick. Regaining a sense of purpose (28 per cent), getting well (21 per cent) and providing for their families (16 per cent) are also high priorities.

Afraid of returning to the workplace

While the motivation to return to work is apparent, the research reveals that many workers are afraid of returning to the workplace after a long-term illness. A significant number of people (44 per cent) fear that going back to work could cause a relapse of their condition and a quarter (24 per cent) worry that they won’t be able to work to full capacity.

Commenting on the research, Aviva, UK Health says: ‘It’s understandable that over 80 per cent of people think long-term sickness is something that happens to other people. However, in reality you never know what’s around the corner and few people have the savings available to support themselves and their families for very long. Employment and Support Allowance can come to as little as £67.50 a week – even less than Statutory Sick Pay – which in many cases would hardly cover a family’s food shopping, let alone their mortgage and other necessary expenses.’

Protecting your family’s lifestyle

Making sure you have the right protection can protect your family’s lifestyle if your income suddenly changes due to death or illness. But with so many different insurance policies available, it can be difficult to know which ones will best protect your family from financial hardship.

That’s why obtaining the right professional advice and knowing which products to recommend – including the most suitable sum assured, premium, terms and payment provisions – is essential.

All statistics are from a nationwide survey of 1,000 British adult employees and 500 employers, carried out for Aviva by market researchers OnePoll. The opinion poll was hosted online between 18 and 21 October 2011.