British employees want access to dental schemes

Dental ToolsAlmost a third of UK workers who don’t have access to a dental plan through their employer would like cover to be available to them, according to research carried out by YouGov*.

But, despite this demand, the survey of over 2,000 British employees found that just 18 per cent of workers are offered access to some form of dental plan by their company.

The findings come during National Smile Month and just days after the British Dental Health Foundation announced that less than half of the UK workforce is allowed paid time off work to visit their dentist. This is a worrying statistic when you consider that the latest government figures indicate that around a third of adults have tooth decay**.

Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: “Our findings highlight the problems that many people face to find time to visit their dentist on a regular basis and the low level of importance that many employers give to encouraging their workforce to maintain good oral health.

“Significant numbers of people are forced to miss work each year unnecessarily due to avoidable poor oral health. What many employers won't realise is that poor oral health is increasingly being linked to other more serious medical conditions such as diabetes, strokes and heart problems, which cause even greater difficulties for absenteeism.

“Time and money are clearly barriers to improving oral health – especially during the economic downturn, but we hope more employers will take another look at their occupational health and general welfare policies during National Smile Month and give a greater priority to oral health.”

Westfield Health offers a range of corporate health cash plans, which employers can purchase for their staff. They all include a dental benefit which enables employees to access dental care quickly, without worrying about the cost.

Westfield’s health plans provide money back towards the cost of NHS or private dental treatment, up to set limits. Cover starts from just £1 per employee, per week.

For more information about Westfield’s range of corporate health cash plans, click here