A leading Suffolk-based digital insurance broker is warning small business owners to be mindful of employees’ stress levels this Stress Awareness Month. PolicyBee, based in Ipswich, undertook research which highlighted that nearly a quarter of respondents had taken a sick day due to stress.
According to Investors in People, it is estimated that the total cost of mental ill health to the UK economy is around £26bn (approximately £1,035 per employee).
Dominique Fell-Clark, head of marketing at PolicyBee, said: “Our research has shown a significant number of people have taken sick days because of stress. This can be caused by many factors and it’s often hard to tell if an employee is feeling overwhelmed. From an employer’s point of view, it should be identified and addressed as soon as possible so regular one-to-ones are important.
“For small businesses, absenteeism for any reason can be a massive outlay, especially if you are a small team. Its impact on productivity is significant and can put considerable pressure on the other staff in the office.
“This is why we are urging business owners to look after their staff this Stress Awareness Month because the more you make your employees feel valued, the more invested they are in the success of the organisation.”
PolicyBee now sells the health and wellbeing support package Equipsme which offers stress support as an optional extra. The broker also provides the cover to its own staff.
Designed to be affordable and easy to understand, Equipsme provides businesses with two to 249 employees a flexible and cost-effective way of providing health and wellbeing support for their employees.
Other significant findings include:
- More than a third had ‘pulled a sickie’ although they weren’t actually unwell.
- Fewer than half of those surveyed had employers that offered employee benefits like health insurance, mental health support and duvet days.
- 73% of respondents said that an employee benefits package would make them happier at work.
- 94% said that a good employee benefits package makes a prospective employer more attractive.
- Health insurance was the most common employee benefit received by the respondents whose employer provided staff benefits.
- More than one third of those surveyed that had never ‘pulled a sickie’ had an employee benefits package provided by their employer.
- 75% of respondents took at least one day off sick in 2018.
PolicyBee is an independent, digital insurance specialist. Founded in 2011 its aim is to make business and charity insurance painless.