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The True Value Of Business Health Benefits That Care For Families

While more and more NZ businesses are recognising the value of investing in their employees’ health and wellbeing, a growing number are wisely going one step further and investing in their employees’ families as well.

A recent study has found that 32% of employees are concerned about the physical health of their family, 25% have concerns about their own health, and 23% are concerned about the mental well-being of their family. These concerns came in ahead of financial security, a finding described as “telling” by NIB NZ’s Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, who noted that it’s a demonstration of “why supporting the health and wellbeing of your workforce should be a top priority for employers”.

This is where the Employer Aid programme from HealthNow steps in as a breakthrough way to let your team know you care about them, by allowing your employees to use health funds from you as an employer towards any of their family members, allowing them to invest in the health of their children, partner or parents – helping to improve their family’s health so they can be more present when at work and take fewer carer or sick days. Not only this, but offering an Employer Aid programme can help you to become a preferred provider to attract and retain the best and brightest.

Here we’ll take a look at why Employer Aid is a win-win for both employers and employees, and how it can create positive results for your business. Investing in HealthNow’s Employer Aid programme shows you care about and are invested in your employees’ health and well-being. By putting funds into your employees’ dedicated health savers wallets, you’re sending a clear message: ‘You’re important, and your wellbeing matters to us’. And that message that can resonate strongly.


How Does Employer Aid Help My Employees To Care For Their Families?

Employer Aid allows employers to direct funds that would otherwise go into the behind-the-scenes hands of an insurer or other pathway, into an employees’ personal health savers’ wallet. This app-based wallet is available to be used only on medical or health-related appointments, services, products or co-payments for your employees or anyone in their family – and the services they select are entirely their decision without being subject to an insurer assessment. 

Simply put, funds are deposited periodically at an interval chosen by the business, with the employee able to see that money sitting in their health wallet in real time – a big benefit over health insurance plan contributions which are not seen, and appear to be ‘lost’ if they’re not claimed upon within the year.

Employer aid payments put money visibly into the hands of your employees to spend on promoting their health and well-being in the way they need to for themselves, their partner or their children, not in the way an insurer dictates they’re eligible to, and unlike insurance, the funds can be used on health-related services and products both in a reactive and preventative capacity. 

By supporting your employees in whichever way they need, whether that’s for their immediate health or the health of their loved ones, you can:


1. Help your employees to be more present at work:

Employees may be well enough to be at work, but are they present and surviving, or present and thriving? Presenteeism means that an employee is physically at work, but they’re not performing anywhere near their potential and helping the company to succeed. This may be because of their own physical or mental health concerns, or because they are stressed and distracted from worrying about and regularly checking in a loved one who is unwell at home – not to mention the fatigue and burnout many feel from trying to balance work, caregiving and household duties for workers who have sick children or partners at home as well. 

With Employer Aid, you can make sure your employees and their families have access to the treatment they need, when they need it, helping them get back on their feet, and allowing your employees to regain a healthier work-life balance, so they can focus on getting their job done without distractions.


2. See employees take fewer sick days:

Sick days (absenteeism) are a significant expense for all businesses, estimated to cost NZ employers more than one billion dollars every year – and this number is only expected to increase due to the ripple effects of the Covid pandemic. While many employees need to take sick days for themselves, many people take time off work due to illness of their families, including their children, partners, and loved ones. Around one in four people have had to take leave from work to care for a family member with a serious health condition. 38% of these people needed to care for a sick parent, 25% for a spouse or partner, and 20% to care for a child or teenager under 18 years.

Sick days aren’t all too surprising, given nearly one quarter of New Zealanders are currently delaying or neglecting to seek support for their family’s physical and mental health because of the financial barriers involved in paying to see different medical specialists, book screening tests, fill prescriptions, or invest in strengthening their health. This means that they may put off their yearly dental checkup, avoid visiting a dermatologist to have a regular skin check, or even choose to prioritise essential groceries over much-needed nutritional supplements for themselves or their child. 

This is where being able to use their health savers’ wallet to invest in the health of themselves and their families can go a long way in reducing the amount of sick days employees need to take from work. 


3. Attract new staff and become a preferred provider for employment 

A new report from the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) has found that industries across the country are struggling with “dire staffing shortages”, with 93.5% of the 355 NZ businesses surveyed looking to fill vacancies – and 100% of these struggling to fill them. 38% have even been advertising for over six months. When it comes to hiring new staff, it’s an employees’ market, with a record-low unemployment rate of 3.1%. This makes it easier for workers to be selective about the roles they want to take, and carefully consider how attractive an offer is with regards to their added benefits and incentives. 

Offering a range of benefits, including an Employer Aid programme, provides an edge to your recruitment strategy. According to Seek, the most appealing work perk businesses can offer New Zealanders is health cover. In the Southern Cross Healthy Futures Report 2020, 74 per cent of respondents aged 18-29 said they were concerned about having access to good, affordable healthcare. 


4. Promote staff retention, and make staff feel supported and valued. 

The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, 2019, found that almost half of young employees would quit their current job in the next two years if they had the choice – this highlights how essential it’s become to retain the best talent in your company, by offering excellent health incentives that leave your employees feeling supported and valued. An Employer Aid programme through Healthnow designed to support a worker’s entire family can leave them feeling valued and supported, which can translate to real business benefits for you, such as improved staff morale, productivity, job satisfaction, and loyalty. For employees, knowing that your employer cares about you and your physical and mental well-being can make the world of difference.

Research backs this, with up to 84% of businesses strongly agreeing that in their experience, staff wellbeing initiatives were a major contributor to retaining high-performing employees, reducing turnover and retention levels (65%) and reducing absentee rates (63%). Despite this, only 33% of New Zealand employees are currently satisfied with their benefits – a significant gap in the market that has created an opportunity for savvy businesses to step up and offer employees what they really want – better health benefits through Employer Aid. 


Employer Aid Made Simple For NZ Businesses

Operating across New Zealand and the US, HealthNow makes offering employer aid easy and simple, by welcoming you into their AI-driven platform and international technology that comes with a dedicated health saver’s wallet for employer aid payments.

The onboarding process is free and easy – and can be implemented with no additional out-of-pocket costs than what you’re already paying towards their health insurance plans or other wellness measures. Payments to your employee’s health wallets can be automatically made monthly or at a frequency and dollar value that you choose. You can leave your employee’s health wallets open to be used on any health or medical service with HealthNow, or specify the services you’d prefer. The funds can only be spent on health services and products within New Zealand.

HealthNow provides updates on your impact to help you measure the value of employer aid within your company. Your contributions are not subject to the Fringe Benefits Tax, are free for your employees to use (they even get a free $10 credit with their free sign-up), and HealthNow has an ever-growing trusted network of medical providers to keep your staff healthy and happy.


To get started, register your company’s interest via this contact form and a HealthNow team member will get back to you promptly.

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