IT firms are more likely to insure easily replaceable assets such as printers and mobile phones than they are their people, according to research.
The research was commissioned by income protection specialist Unum, and found that almost half (45 percent) of companies in the IT sector have insurance for easily replaceable assets, such as printers.
This is despite only a quarter (25 percent) admitting they would be "very or extremely concerned" if these were to break.
Conversely, despite 89 percent of IT businesses recognising that employees are one of their company’s most important assets, over a third (34 percent) admitted they only offer "adequate" employee benefits packages or that they could do more to protect their staff.
A further 15 percent admitted to not offering any form of benefits package to their staff, "highlighting a mismatch in what companies value versus what they protect", claimed Unum.
Unum said sickness absence costs around £620,000 each year for a typical business with over 500 employees, and 90 percent of IT businesses in the research admitted that long term sickness absence "is a concern for them".
However, less than a third (31 percent) of companies in the IT sector protect against long-term sickness by offering income protection as part of their employee benefits package.
The research, which polled 108 senior business people in the IT sector, found that almost half (49 percent) have buildings insurance, that 45 percent have contents insurance, and over a third (36 percent) have comprehensive insurance for their company cars.
Matt Fahy, CIO at Unum, said: “Whilst IT companies do understand the importance of employees to their business, there is clearly a mismatch between what they value and what they spend their money on protecting.
“Around one in ten employees will go on long-term sick leave during their working lives, so it is concerning to see so many employers without a plan in place to protect against this eventuality."
Income protection can include a built-in employer and employee assistance programme, plus support from vocational rehabilitation consultants to help people rejoin the workplace after being sick or injured.