Do you need Sick Pay to go global? There’s a policy for that…

sick pay insurance for global workers

Rules and regulations related to sick pay vary greatly in different parts of the world. In some countries you’ll be obliged to cover sickness absence (up to a point), while in others you won’t. But that doesn’t mean your approach to looking after employees should be inconsistent.

Today’s global employers have the option of investing in a single International Group Income Protection scheme which provides financial protection to multiple employees in multiple countries.

In this blog post, we put this policy under the microscope:

  • What is International Income Protection?
  • What’s the problem with separate local schemes?
  • Why is sick pay insurance important for remote workers?
  • How to get free expert help

Looking for global employee benefits and insurance policies for your international staff? Call our award-winning team on 01273 974419 or drop us an email [email protected].


International Group Income Protection (AKA Sick Pay Insurance) explained

What is it?

International Group Income Protection provides employees and their families with a lump sum payment in the event of them falling ill, having an accident, or developing a disability. Essentially a form of sick pay, it provides extra financial support to employees no matter where they are in the world, going further than the usual sick pay requirements.

As an international insurance policy, it is designed to cover staff based in different locations and territories, supporting your teams wherever they are based or travelling to.

How does it work?

Global Income Protection is paid out if an employee is deemed no longer capable (both physically or mentally) to carry out their job role and duties. Unlike other health and protection schemes, there isn’t a list of included or excluded conditions – it’s merely down to whether they are fit to work or not. The claims process is therefore straightforward.

Employers have the final decision on how much salary is covered as well as when the payment will kick in (13-25 weeks for short-term cover is typical for this policy). Staff won’t receive income until that time period kicks in. For most policies, employers set a maximum pay-out limit at 80% of the employee’s wage, placing a safety cap on the payments.

If said employee returns to the workplace but ends up relapsing, payments will pick up again without any additional deferment period. However, remember, this only applies if the return-to-work period lasts less than 60 days and it is for the same health condition as before.

Income Protection schemes will also provide some rehabilitation support and early intervention services which aid employees in their recovery and ultimately help speed up their return to work.

How much does it cost?

Just as it is with many other health insurance policies and products, landing on an exact price point varies depending on a variety of factors:

  • Age
  • Job role
  • Smoking
  • Medical history
  • Number of staff covered (e.g., the more covered, the greater the discount per employee)
  • Coverage provided (e.g., length of deferral period, agreed pay-out amount)
  • Number of countries covered
  • Indexing (coverage can be set to rise with inflation)
  • Extra value services offered by the insurance provider (such as online GP services, return-to-work support services and Employee Assistance Programmes]


Why not go for separate local schemes?

Investing in International Group Income Protection will provide your business and staff with one central contract, one set of paperwork, one renewal date, all under one language.

As you can imagine, this makes for a much smoother and simpler process, compared to having lots of different policies in different locations. Doing this will save time and money for HR handling claims. This is true across most areas of employee benefits, whether it’s the systems used to manage and make them available, or the policies themselves. For example, Group Health Insurance, Life Insurance and Critical Illness schemes can be all be purchased as a single policy covering multiple countries – and all made available on a single platform.

Would you like to ask an expert about International Group Income Protection? Call 01273 974419 or email [email protected]. We can also gather quotes tailored to your business need without any charge or obligation.


Why Sick Pay Insurance is important for remote workers

Income Protection provides essential financial support to your staff, giving them peace of mind that they will be supported by the organisation they work for. This reassurance is particularly needed for expat employees, globally-distributed workers, and their families where they might not have access to the same safety nets as they would at home.

Why else is it so important for a global remote workforce?

  • Provides employees working overseas with vital cover, especially if they have no access to a local business income protection policy
  • Provides one centralised policy covering everyone no matter where they are located, all handled with in one language and through one point-of-contact
  • Protects your business from the impact of long-term sick pay liabilities
  • Provides financial security and reassurance to staff and their families
  • Remote global staff feel more connected to the business and colleagues by being offered the same level of care
  • Provides support services to help employees in their recovery – reducing their recovery time and potentially speeding up their return-to-work
  • Most providers include wellbeing apps and services which give practical day-to-day help to employees across a wide range of issues


Get further support from an international broker

The first thing that most companies want to know about International Income Protection insurance is how much it is going to cost. The only way of knowing is by getting in touch with an impartial broker who will gather your details and source quotes from across different providers. So, if that’s you, contact us via the form on the right or via the contact details below.

The award-winning team at Engage Health Group have a wide reach of global partnerships spanning 61 countries and territories which means we can give you the best advice and the most competitive quotes on the market.

Contact us at [email protected] or call 01273 974419 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.

Picture of Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor started at Engage in 2021, and is now a Digital Content Writer after studying BA English Literature at University of Sussex for the last 3 years.

Share this article

Employee Benefits Around the World

How to get it right wherever your staff are located.
To download your copy of the report, please complete the form below.

Discover the best quotes for your business

Our service is delivered for FREE. And once we deliver your quotes, there is no obligation to continue with our services.

To download your copy of the report, please complete the form below.

Please complete this form and someone will be in touch with you shortly!