Employee Sickness is Putting Small Business Growth at Risk

32% of small and medium firms have lost money due to staff sickness yet 43% have never considered staff health and wellbeing benefits

Employee Sickness is Putting Small Business Growth at Risk

Staff sickness is potentially harming the growth of UK small and medium-sized businesses with 32% of firms having lost money due to employee sickness, according to new research by Bupa.

The study, which interviewed 500 small business owners, found that 46% of business leaders believed an employee taking an early short-term absence would be damaging for growth while 47% admitted their growth would be hampered if a worker took a significant period of absence.

Despite the impact of staff sickness, the research found that small businesses are continuing to “underestimate the importance” of factoring employee health in their future growth strategy.

Only 46% of business owners said that employee health and wellbeing is a key factor in their business plan and 43% of leaders admitted they have never considered introducing health and wellbeing benefits in their small businesses.

Richard Norris, small and medium business director at Bupa, commented:

“Even one person on short-term sick leave can have a big effect on business growth and fellow colleagues in a small team. Yet, leaders are still not doing enough to support their employees keep healthy and well as their enterprises grow.

“Many UK businesses are at the tipping point of success. Small and medium enterprises must recognise that health and wellbeing is not a concern for later, but a key lever that should be an integral part of their growth strategy from the start.”

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