Employee Legal Issues May Take a Toll on Productivity

March 22, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Ordinary personal legal matters may be common occurrences, but can take a toll on workplace productivity.

A new study, “The Impact of Legal Matters on Today’s Work Force,” released from Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife company, found that people with legal issues – such as will preparation, traffic tickets, real estate matters, debt problems or family situations like adoption and divorce – are spending, on average, close to three hours a week at work dealing with their situation for an average duration of five to six weeks. Furthermore, 37% of men and 47% of women said dealing with their issue negatively impacted their physical or emotional health.   

According to a press release, seven in ten individuals surveyed who engaged an attorney said having legal counsel made them feel more confident and the issue was easier to resolve. About two-thirds of individuals using a lawyer said having an attorney gave them peace of mind.   

Those who were enrolled in a group plan and used a network attorney felt more positively about their overall experience than those hiring an independent attorney or those going it alone.  

The study found that only 30% of employees accessing their attorney through a group legal plan used vacation or other paid time off addressing their situation, compared with nearly 50% of employees hiring an attorney on their own. Nine out of ten people who used a group legal plan said they would use it again in the future. The press release said even 42% of people who were satisfied serving as their own attorney said they would be interested in enrolling in a group legal plan if given the option.  

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Hyatt Legal Plans from January 6 to February 7, 2011, among 846 employed U.S. residents ages 18 and older who have had at least one targeted legal issue in the past five years.  

More information about Hyatt Legal Plans is at http://www.legalplans.com.