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SMEs suffering from the stress of economic uncertainty

The uncertain economic situation may well be taking its toll on the performance and mental wellbeing of staff in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), according to a recent report.

The quarterly Zurich SME Risk Index has found that almost half of British SMEs (47 per cent) claim to be facing more risk this year than last, and more than two in five (42 per cent) say that the stress is negatively affecting their business.

The authors suggest that stress associated with economic uncertainty may be linked to increased levels of staff absence and a collapse in morale. Absence levels have risen markedly over the last two years, with small businesses reporting a rise of 27 per cent, and medium ones of 30 per cent. When asked if morale had gone down, similarly high figures were returned, with 27 per cent and 39 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses saying that it had, respectively.

One commentator said, 'These figures are strong evidence that addressing workforce challenges and risks is an essential part of achieving better performance and greater growth for British small businesses.'

Acas can help your organisation safeguard or boost its productivity by staying on top of Health, work and wellbeing issues, tackling Stress and improving Absence management.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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