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18 May 2021

How to support self-employed workers with wellbeing benefits

Keeping employees physically, mentally and financially healthy has been a core pillar of corporate HR strategy for many years, and is set to gather further momentum given the rate of change in the modern workplace and as a result of the global pandemic.




However, for the rapidly growing self-employed segment of the workforce, plus the enigmatic gig economy, such support is often severely lacking.

The impact of coronavirus on the self-employed market

There are more than five million self-employed people in the UK, earning an average of £781 a month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number has risen quickly since the 2008 financial crash and is set to rise again as a result of the seismic impact of the last year on employment levels and patterns, especially for younger employees. Figures from the ONS’s Labour Force Survey in April show that the under-35s are bearing the brunt of the jobs crisis, with this age group accounting for 80% of the 811,000 jobs lost in the UK over the last year.

The status of the self-employed has made many a headline, whether as a result of exclusion from coronavirus income support grants or through legal rulings over whether they should be treated as ‘workers’ with all the legal rights that that status should attract.

Debates aside, what is clear is that the self-employed are missing out on workplace wellbeing benefits. This is why BHSF has partnered with fintech start-up pirkx, to ensure that the self-employed aren’t left out in the cold when it comes to accessing quality health and wellbeing provision.

Bringing wellbeing to the self-employed

Pirkx was founded early in 2019 because, until then, only employees of corporates had access to any kind of wellbeing benefits. CEO Stella Smith wanted to create something affordable and accessible to everyone, regardless of employment status.

The resulting on-demand pirkx service provides instant access to a range of specialised mental health support services, as well as the BHSF 24/7 GP helpline. A host of non-clinical support such as money advice, and training courses all sit alongside a curated package of personalised benefits and discounts to help individuals extend their spending potential. It’s about blending the reassurance of best in class clinical expertise with a flexible and affordable delivery platform.

It is all comfortable territory for the Netflix generation that currently consumes so much via on demand subscription services. Like a gym class or fresh pasta box, pirkx can be readily paused or cancelled and is all managed via an app-based dashboard.

Partnerships like this are key to helping providers extend the breadth and reach of their health and wellbeing services to those who are currently being overlooked – and arguably who need the protection of accessible, specialist care more than ever.

The author is Chris Snookes, head of commercial partnerships at BHSF.

This is a sponsored article provided by BHSF.

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