The population of the UK is aging. There are now 11.6 million people aged 65 or over in the UK. The number of people aged 65+ is projected to rise by over 40 per cent (40.77%) in the next 17 years to over 16 million. There are now 1.5 million people are aged 85 or over and half a million people aged 90 and over in the UK. There are 14,570 centenarians in the UK, a 65% increase over the last decade. Nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday.(Population Estimates UK Office for National Statistics, 2016 / Age UK report “Later Life in the United Kingdom” April 2017)
As the figures above support, a very large percentage of the working age population, (i.e your employees) have caring responsibilities for aging parents. The is one question that is never far away from their thoughts is “I wonder is my loved one OK today?” 3rings is designed to passively answer this question.
3rings is an adaptor which you simply plug into the wall of your loved ones home (no wiring or fitting required) and then into it you plug an appliance your loved one uses on a daily basis. This could be the kettle, a lamp or the TV for example. When they use their 3rings enabled appliance (ie make a cup of tea) it sends a signal to your personal 3rings Portal. Your 3rings Portal listens for the message, which it expects to receive between the times that you have pre-set. You and your family get notified that everything is OK or alerted if no signal has been received.
How is it paid for ?
Most employers operate the benefit through employee paid salary sacrifice. The cost to employees works out at c.£15 per month over 12 months which includes buying the adaptor. The cost reduces from year two onwards as the employee is only paying for access to the monitoring network (as they will have already paid for the adaptor in year one). The monthly payment covers access to the 3rings portal.
Employees will save 12% off the cost of 3rings through NI Savings if they are a basic rate taxpayer and 2% if they are a higher rate taxpayer.
Why consider this benefit ?
Be seen as an employer who recognises that your employees could be part of the 2.4 million Brits known as the “sandwich generation”, caring for children and ageing parents with the associated stress this can bring. Research highlights this is disproportionately impacting woman, “especially in the 45 to 55 age bracket” explains Kathryn Abel, a professor of psychological medicine at the centre for women’s mental health at the University of Manchester. We can put a lot of it down to lifestyle such as having children later, combined with the rising life expectancy of parent/elderly relatives.
Whilst no magic wand, 3 Rings is a tool which can help provide peace of mind for employees who are caring for elderly parents/relatives.