Wealth vs health

Back to News & Views

More than half ignore medical advice and work despite poor health due to financial worries

When you are off work due to an illness or injury, worries about how you are going to pay your bills can make an already stressful situation worse. So much so that many people are finding themselves in the very difficult position of having to put the need to earn money over their health by continuing to go to work, even when advised not to by a doctor.

Worse still, financial concerns mean some are avoiding seeing their GP altogether, even when concerned they may have a serious illness. Money worries see six in ten people go to work when they are ill, with one in three ignoring their doctor’s advice due to financial concerns, even when they are worried about serious illness, according to new research[1].

No financial protection in place 

Three in ten people have no financial protection if they were off work should they fall ill or become injured, while 27% could financially only last for a month. The findings highlight that sick and injured Britons are forcing themselves back into work, despite doctors’ advice, due to having no financial protection in place.

Nearly a third (32%) admitted to not following their doctor’s advice because they couldn’t afford to take time off, while 43% would put off going to the doctors due to financial concerns – even if concerned they may have a serious illness.

Negative impact on mental wellbeing

The research also highlights that while nearly half (49%) say they would benefit from a policy that would cover their income if off work for an extended period, just 27% actually have any income protection cover in place, with 32% unaware of what such a policy is.

Money worries can have a negative impact on people’s mental wellbeing, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed saying they fret about how they would cope financially if they needed to take four weeks or more off work due to poor health.

Sick and on a reduced income

Three in ten (30%) surveyed have nothing in place to support them financially should they be ill or injured, while 29% would rely on Statutory Sick Pay, which at £99.35 per week for up to 28 weeks (tax year 2022/23), pays much less than many people need to cover the cost of living, which continues to rise.

If on long-term sick pay and on a reduced income, many would use their existing savings (45%), make reduced payments (33%), borrow money from family or friends (25%), or use a credit card or loan (15%). However, during the pandemic a third (34%) of people had already dipped into their savings, meaning they may now have less to fall back on.

Longer-term financial impacts

As a result of this situation, more than half (55%) admit they could only survive for three months, while more than a quarter (27%) would struggle after just one month. The additional financial pressures of being off sick for four weeks or more could push people to prioritise their household expenditures. The top five things that the people surveyed prioritise include utilities (67%), mortgage/rent (65%), food (56%), insurance i.e. car/home/pet (15%) and internet/broadband (13%).

As well as the immediate impact of long-term sickness, many people are also concerned about the longer-term financial impacts, with almost half (49%) of those surveyed saying they worry about the impact on their ability to get credit in future. This is particularly an issue for the self-employed, where 43% worry about losing customers and just over a third (36%) worry that their business would have to fold.

Time to discuss insurance that works while you can’t?

Consider how you’d cover your usual monthly costs if you were ill or injured and couldn’t work for a while. Would you be able to carry on paying the bills using Statutory Sick Pay or your savings? If not, it’s worth thinking about insurance. To find out more, please contact us.

Source data:

[1] Survey conducted by Censuswide for Nationwide between 10–14 February of 2,003 people who are self-employed or employed but receive Statutory Sick Pay when off work through illness or injury.

Book your FREE, no obligation discussion today. Schedule Appointment

Sign Up to our mailing list - Receive regular news, tips and financial commentary from the Gemini Team.

Latest News

  • Divorce is a complex process that often comes with various financial considerations, and preparing for a divorce is undoubtedly challenging, especially when it involves untangling your finances. The emotional strain can make it difficult to make clear-headed decisions, and the long-term consequences may not be immediately apparent.  [...]

  • Pension drawdown is a flexible way of taking income from your pension, introduced after the pension freedom rules in April 2015. Before that, the government limited how much income you could take from your pension unless you had other sources of income, and annuities were commonly used to provide a guaranteed income for life. [...]

  • The costs of care in later life can vary greatly and depend on a multitude of factors. Notably, the type of care required, the individual's financial situation and their location within the UK play a significant role in determining these costs. [...]

  • 2 weeks ago

    How bonds' structure and tax advantages can help you pass on wealth Investment bonds offer several benefits that some investors may be missing out on, and have become even more beneficial due to recent changes in tax regulations following the Chancellor’s decision to reduce the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Allowance from £12,000 to £6,000 this year and to £3,000 in April 2024.  [...]

  • £1.3 billion pension tax relief unclaimed by pension savers over a five-year period According to recent research, higher rate and additional rate taxpayers in the UK leave millions of pounds of pension tax relief unclaimed yearly[1]. This amounts to a staggering total of £1.3 billion over a five-year period. This unclaimed money could be in your pocket instead. [...]

  • Taking proactive steps in securing your child’s or grandchild’s financial future Many parents and grandparents set aside money for the next generation to help with their financial needs. The rising cost of education, housing, and life in general, has created concerns about financial stability for future generations.  [...]

  • Many over-55s are unaware that they can access 25% of their pension pot tax-free A surprising 43% of individuals over 55 need to be made aware that they can withdraw 25% of their pension pot tax-free, according to recent research[1]. Knowledge could lead to better decision-making when it comes to accessing pension savings. [...]

  • 73% of women make only minimum pension contributions, compared to 58% of men A significant difference in pension contributions between men and women has been revealed from a recent study[1], highlighting that women are more likely to pay the minimum required amount into their pensions under auto-enrolment. [...]

  • Financial responsibilities increase significantly after 25 Paying essentials such as utilities and council tax becomes a reality as young adults transition from student life to the workforce. The reality of financial responsibilities often accompanies the excitement of newfound independence during one's mid-twenties.  [...]

  • Choosing the right pension payment strategy When planning for your future, consider increasing your pension savings. But should you do this through a lump sum or by raising your regular contributions? In this article, we look at each option. [...]

  • Making informed decisions about managing the funds wisely Inheriting wealth can be both a blessing and a challenge. It presents an opportunity to improve your financial security and accomplish your goals but it also involves managing the funds wisely. Cash flow modelling is essential to help you make informed decisions about using your inheritance effectively. [...]

  • Many over-55s are unaware that they can access 25% of their pension pot tax-free A surprising 43% of individuals over 55 need to be made aware that they can withdraw 25% of their pension pot tax-free, according to recent research[1]. Knowledge could lead to better decision-making when it comes to accessing pension savings. [...]

Gemini Wealth Management Ltd is Authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority Registered in England & Wales No. 5919877 Registered Office: Gemini House, 71 Park Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 6BT The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax and trust advice, will writing and some forms of buy to let mortgages. The guidance and/or advice contained in this website is subject to regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to those based in the UK.

Website by Mellow Marsh Software
© Gemini Wealth Management Ltd
Privacy Notice | Cookie Policy