ANDOVER, England, April 30 /PRNewswire/ --

Almost 1 in 8 managers in the UK has a problem trusting their staff when it comes to taking time off to visit the dentist, research released today reveals.

According to Simplyhealth's Annual Dental Survey, 13% of bosses dictate when employees can visit the dentist and in some cases, actively discourage any visits to the dentist during working hours.

But while many managers admit to subjecting their staff to high levels of scrutiny, the impact of employees not being given time to attend to dental matters threatens to have an adverse effect on their career.

Three-quarters of employees (75%) feel their chances of career progression could be affected by virtue of having bad teeth, while 4 out of 10 managers (40%) say an employee with an unattractive smile or bad breath would not be taken to client meetings. Nearly a third of bosses (30%) cite bad teeth as a reason for not promoting an employee.

Simplyhealth's Annual Dental Survey also suggests that while many employers are unhappy about staff taking time out of the working day to visit the dentist, more than half (56%) believe staff absenteeism would be significantly reduced if dental benefits were included in the employee benefits package. Meanwhile three-quarters indicate its provision would lead to an improvement in employee morale.

James Glover, Corporate Director at Simplyhealth, says: All managers want to be able to trust their staff, as a positive relationship between manager and employee is far more likely to lead to a good and sustained working relationship. But staff absenteeism is a frustrating and costly issue for many managers in the UK, and giving staff time off to get their teeth checked can have a significant impact on the day-to-day running of a business.

The economic conditions are certainly playing their part in how infrequently people visit the dentist, and indeed 45% of people we questioned cited cost as the main reason for delaying treatment. However, those who decide to put off dental treatment can only expect their teeth to get worse, which can ultimately result in more expensive treatment and the need to take more time off work.

Introducing simple and affordable Dental Plans, which can be extended to the entire workforce, not only helps employees with the cost of visiting the dentist, but also lessens the impact on the business of their temporary absence. Basically, employees who are helped with the cost of dental treatment are more likely to visit the dentist at a time that works for their employer. Additionally private appointments are often more flexible than NHS ones, which could enable staff to better fit around the working day.

According to the Confederation for British Industry, staff absenteeism cost the UK economy GBP13.2 billion in 2007, with the average employee taking almost seven days off due to health-related issues*.

Previously known as HSA, BCWA, HealthSure, LHF and Totally Active, Simplyhealth is a family of organisations that have joined together with the sole purpose of helping people. For further information visit or speak to someone in one of our UK call centres on 0800-072-6717.

Notes to Editor:

Research statistics are also available for the following industry sectors and cities in the UK and Ireland:

Belfast, Bristol, Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton.

Healthcare, arts and culture, catering, education, IT, leisure, manufacturing, retail, utility, legal, financial and medical.

This research was carried out for Simplyhealth by Opinion Matters, a leading independent market research organisation. The survey of consumers took place between 19 and 23 February 2009 among a nationally representative sample of 1,706 UK adults aged over 16.

The survey of UK companies was carried out between 24 February and 2 March 2009 among a nationally representative sample of 255 HR Managers, HR Directors and HR Decision Makers

Previously known as HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure and Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the last 8 years to form Simplyhealth

At Simplyhealth, we have been providing healthcare solutions for over 137 years, dedicated to serving our customers through a variety of Mobility and Living aids, Health Cash Plans, Dental Plans and Private Medical Insurance

We at Simplyhealth, are committed in our constitution to our responsibility of making a positive impact on our communities. Each year, we help health related charities and causes to the tune of at least GBP1million

Simplyhealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

As of December 2008, our Healthplans had 1.2 million customers providing cover for some 2.1 million people

*CBI / AXA Absence Survey, 2007

The survey also reveals the following results:

- Liverpool is home to some of the least trusting managers, with almost 1 in 4 (23%) admitting they strictly control when members of staff visit the dentist - Managers in Cardiff are among the sternest, with more than a quarter (29%) requesting dental appointments are carried out during the employees' own time - A similar number of managers in Brighton (20%) confess to operating a system where staff are 'encouraged' to get their teeth checked out during lunch breaks, after work or at weekends - Lawyers, accountants and doctors are among those subjected to the closest examination, with 1 in 10 bosses strictly monitoring when staff can visit the dentist - Those working in the retail, catering and leisure sectors are actively discouraged from visiting the dentist during working hours, with 10% of managers operating a system which makes it clear when appointments are to be taken

For further information, please contact: Bray Leino Public Relations Laura Allen T: +44-(0)117-906-4528; Richard Cook T: +44-(0)117-906-4529; Simplyhealth Abby Bowman, Senior Brand Public Relations Manager +44-(0)1264-342561 Caroline Lakeman, Public Relations Executive, +44-(0)1264-342570 Rebecca Jeremy, Public Relations Assistant +44-(0)1264-342400 Or

For further information, please contact: Bray Leino Public Relations: Laura Allen T: +44-(0)117-906-4528;; Richard Cook T: +44-(0)117-906-4529; Simplyhealth: Abby Bowman, Senior Brand Public Relations Manager +44-(0)1264-342561; Caroline Lakeman, Public Relations Executive, +44-(0)1264-342570; Rebecca Jeremy, Public Relations Assistant +44-(0)1264-342400 Or