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SMEs reluctant to address mental health issues like depression with staff

Published on 12/06/2012

Small business owners in the UK do not feel confident enough to recognise and address physical or mental health problems among their staff.

A survey by Bupa shows that 41 per cent of small business owners admit they never speak to employees about their physical or mental health. 30 per cent believe it is ‘none of their business’ or is an invasion of privacy.

Mental health problems like stress cost the UK economy £26 billion a year in absence and staff turnover. 10.8 million working days were lost in 2010/11 due to work related stress.

Jenny Leeser, clinical director of occupational health at Bupa, said: "If health issues such as stress are not addressed, employees suffering in silence can lead to small issues becoming bigger problems in the long term and ultimately affecting productivity.

"Nobody expects bosses to solve all of a person's issues but there may be adjustments that really help, such as altering hours on a temporary basis.

"All companies have a health & safety policy, so why not a stress and mental health policy too?"

If you are worried about physical or mental health preventing you from being able to work, consider investing in income protection insurance. Income protection insurance will pay you a monthly income if you cannot work through accident, sickness or redundancy, and often covers mental health like stress and depression.

Bupa has launched a new service, Bupa Stress Management, to help business owners to identify the symptoms of workplace stress, raise issues with staff, and design and implement their own stress management policy.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Income ProtectionHealth
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