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How can the government’s occupational health consultation support small businesses?

1-minute read

Tips to manage stress Dr Hazel Harrison
Bea Montoya

Bea Montoya

16 October 2023

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As the government consults on how occupational health can reduce long-term sickness, Simply Business responds with how to properly support small businesses and the self-employed. Here, our UK COO Bea Montoya writes about what could help this vital section of our economy.

The UK’s SMEs are at a breaking point when it comes to their mental health, which is why we felt it so important to write to the government and provide evidence for their consultation on occupational health.

The Occupational Health: Working Better Consultation concluded on 12 October, and the government is now analysing how they can improve people’s health at work and reduce the number of people off work due to long-term sickness.

From our research with small businesses, in partnership with Mental Health at Work, we know that there’s a worrying trend of poor mental health and wellbeing amongst SMEs.

Over half (56 per cent) of small business owners surveyed have suffered from poor mental health in the past 12 months. Sleepless nights, burnout, and long hours are just a few of the compounding issues we’ve heard through our research.

Insuring more than 900,000 small businesses, Simply Business is committed to taking an active role in supporting the self-employed – with their mental health and wellbeing, and indeed the other challenges facing this vital community.

Small businesses are responsible for 48 per cent of all British jobs and contribute £1.6 trillion in turnover to the UK economy – they’re vital to both our economic recovery and the prosperity of our communities.

That’s why we wrote to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions outlining what steps could help support the mental health of the UK's self-employed.

An assistant programme for the self-employed, a flexible statutory sick pay scheme, and self-help guidance are just some of the ideas that the SME community and Simply Business have asked the government to explore as a priority.

Read our letter to the government in full here.

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Photograph: fizkes/
Bea Montoya

Written by

Bea Montoya

Beatriz Montoya is UK Chief Operating Officer at Simply Business. Bea is an expert in creating customer-centric marketing efforts, and products and services.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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