International essential guides: Global Income Protection

global income protection

Group Income Protection consistently ranks as one of the most popular staff benefits, so it was no surprise when it made it into the top three most desired perks in our recent survey. The good news for businesses with an international workforce is that Income Protection can also be used on a global level, protecting staff around the world under one policy.

International Group Income Protection has grown in popularity in the aftermath of the pandemic and during the current cost-of-living crisis as it provides financial security and peace of mind to both employees and their families.

But Global Income Protection doesn’t just benefit employees – it also benefits the business itself. In this essential guide we explain how it works, why it matters and how you can buy it.


Looking for the right international employee benefits to protect your global staff? Contact our team of AMII-affiliated experts for FREE quotes and advice. Call +44 (0)1274 974419 or click on the bottom right chat box.


What is Global Income Protection?

Companies are already obligated to pay Employee Statutory Sick Pay for up to 28 weeks, but what happens if staff are unable to fulfil their role after this time? In short: they have to go without. Unless, that is, you have taken out Income Protection insurance.

The basic idea behind Income Protection (AKA Sick Pay Insurance) is that it provides extra support to employees above and beyond statutory sick pay. Global Income Protection is exactly the same except it’s designed to cover employees based in different locations and support the workforce wherever they may go.

Global Income Protection provides employees and their families with a lump sum payment in the event of them falling ill, undergoing an accident, or developing a disability whilst away.

There are two options available to choose from:

International Short-term Disability:

Provides financial security for employees who can’t perform work duties due to an accident or illness. The employer will pay a monthly percentage of the employee’s salary, for up to two years.

International Long-term Disability:

The same as mentioned above but kicks in after 24 months from the illness/accident or when the short-term cover comes to an end. The employer can choose to set up cover for as long as they want, but employees can only be covered up until the age of 65.


Both options are available for international businesses who have staff spread over multiple locations.


How does it work?

Global Income Protection pays out when an employee is deemed no longer physically/mentally able to carry out their duties. You don’t have to worry about a list of inclusions and exclusions as you might with many health-related insurance policies. In this respect, the claims process is relatively straightforward.

Most policies will set a maximum pay-out limit at 80% of the covered employee’s wage but the final decision of how much salary to cover is completely at the employer’s discretion. Employers must also decide on when the sickness payment kicks in (known as the deferral period), which is usually 13 – 25 weeks for short-term cover. This means employees won’t receive income until that time.

If the covered employee returns to work but relapses, payments will pick up again as before without an additional deferment period. However, this only applies if the return-to-work period lasts less than 60 days and the employee is suffering from the same condition as before.

Are you looking to implement an International Sick Pay policy on its own or alongside other international benefits? Either way, the team of experts at Engage Health Group can talk through your options and provide a range of FREE quotes gathered from across the market. Use the chatbox or call +44 (0)1273 974419 to start the conversation.


How much does Global Income Protection cost?  

There are several factors which influence the final cost of an International Income Protection policy:

  • Age
  • Job role
  • Smoker/Non-smoker
  • Medical history
  • Number of employees covered (the more covered, the greater the discount per employee)
  • Coverage provided (length of deferral period, agreed pay-out amount)
  • Age-banding (decide if premiums will increase with age or freeze at the outset)
  • Any add-ons offered by insurance provider

To discover price points tailored to your business, click the quote button at the top of the screen.


What are the benefits of International Group Income Protection?

Global Income Protection provides essential financial support to your staff, ensuring peace of mind and alleviating the many stresses related to ill health which can be exacerbated by wider economic trends like rising household bills

International Sick Pay also brings many positives to the business itself:

  • Employers won’t be left paying employee’s salary for an extended period – or even having to make the hard decision of stopping payments
  • Enables employers to fill the open role with a temporary staff member and cover these costs
  • Gives employees/expats working overseas with no access to a local business income protection policy the opportunity to get potentially vital coverage
  • Provides one central policy covering everyone equally, and all dealt with in one language and with one point of contact
  • Huge time saving opportunity for HR as it centrally everything within one policy, and negates the need for local departments to draw up separate schemes
  • Provides reassurance to expat employees and their families, fulfilling the employer duty of care
  • Insurance policy covers costs so employers can avoid a hefty potential financial hit themselves
  • Schemes also come with rehab support – speeding up the process by which employees can recover and return to work



Get impartial advice from Engage International

International Group Income Protection is greatly appreciated by staff as it means that everyone can be equally protected wherever they are in the world. Meanwhile, your HR team will appreciate the time-saving it enables, and the finance department can see the money savings it enables compared to investing in a patchwork of local policies in each country.

It’s worth remembering that international employee benefits come at a significantly higher price tag compared to domestic schemes which makes it even more important to get the policy which best fits your strategic needs and maximises return-on-investment.

Receiving help from a specialist international benefits consultant can ensure that you avoid misspending your budget and paying over the odds on Global Income Protection plans or any other health-related insurance scheme.

Engage Health Group Ltd has an expansive global reach consisted of partnerships across 50+ countries and territories. With these wide connections and international expertise, our team of accredited staff can assess what it is you and your business need for a successful upgrade in your employee benefits.

Call us at +44 (0)1273 974419 or use the contact form in the bottom right. We’ll help you setup the best employee benefits and health insurance scheme for your business and staff.

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.

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