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Perceptions on protection: Surveying workers to build new agile solutions

At a glance

  • Having too little saved for retirement emerges as the UK’s top financial worry for 41% respondents
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) changing jobs out of choice rather than through redundancy
  • Fewer than half (49%) of UK respondents willing to undertake career retraining

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A study Perceptions on protection: Surveying workers to build new agile solutions” published last week by Zurich and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford explores people’s job situations, their concerns about technology, their willingness to adapt to change, and knowledge of financial planning.

Carried out among 16,500 individuals representative of the working population in 15 countries, the findings are presented both globally and at a UK level.  The report also highlights that new technologies, globalization and demographic shifts are changing the way we work and examines the potential influences these changes will have on the workforce and the financial protection that workers have in place.

Commenting on the UK findings, Nick Homer, Head of Corporate Risk said, “Our objective is to learn more about how workers see their own situations and circumstances and how businesses see their role evolving within the new world of work.  The study should contribute to the broader debate about work and financial resilience over the coming years making it easier for those setting policy to respond effectively.

“We know that any solution to provide better protection for people and their families must involve multiple stakeholders across the public and private sectors.  It means collaborating with Government and others to encourage greater awareness of the issues, and more provision of support through workplaces and individually.  Also key is making sure that any welfare provision works alongside any private arrangements in place.  We’ve seen some progress here with clarification last year that lump sum pay-outs from critical illness and life insurance policies won’t impact on means testing for some benefits like Universal Credit where money can be used to clear mortgages or other debt.  However the same protection isn’t given to rental payments, showing there’s more work to be done .”

Agile Protection is part of a  major three-year research program with Zurich and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford (launched in November 2018) exploring the potential for developing frameworks involving different stakeholders, so more workers are provided with flexible protection and financial support in an increasingly fragmented labour market.

Download the full report here:

Perceptions on Protection: Full Report

Key Findings:

  • 41% of UK respondents identified adequate retirement savings as first among many potential personal-finance concerns
  • 12% of UK respondents said they expect to lose their job in the next year, 23% said they had plans to leave their job voluntarily within the same time period
  • 17% of UK respondents worry about losing their job to technology in the next 5 years
  • Fewer than half (49%) of UK respondents said they were willing to sacrifice one evening of leisure time per week for six months in order to undertake professional retraining or to learn new skills
  • Women report being less knowledgeable about insurance products than men – just 17% of UK respondents said they knew about income protection compared to 26% men
  • Of those that have experienced ill-health, the most common reason (for 35%) was due to mental health issues including anxiety and depression


Image © Getty

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