I HOPE that you all enjoyed this week’s Summer Bank Holiday. You will of course be aware that it was the last Bank Holiday in England until Christmas. For many, it also means ‘holiday season’ is largely over for this year . . . and it’s full on into the world of work once more.

There’s nothing wrong with that of course, except that even as autumn approaches, the nights draw in and the weather becomes more unpredictable, it remains vitally important for us to look after our physical and mental health and well-being. Failure to do so, leads to significant impacts to society in general. The effects on business are also profound. For example, the annual bill for sickness absence sits at £29 billion across the UK.

In addition, research from the Federation of Small Businesses’ medical and health advice service, shows that the number of small businesses seeking mental health advice has doubled in the last five years – with almost half (48 per cent) of people saying they have experienced a mental health issue in their current job.

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In light of these alarming statistics, it is clear that positive and pro-active needs to be taken to move health and well-being much further up the agenda. It is not only the right thing to do morally. It is also the right thing to do for business. That’s because a commitment to wellbeing in the workplace can help to increase productivity, improve performance, reduce absenteeism and boost staff retention.

Of course businesses – especially small businesses – differ hugely in terms of their sectors, sizes and working arrangements. As a result, there will never be a ‘one size fits all’ solution. It’s important then, to highlight different approaches, which have delivered success in different situations.

One way FSB is doing that, is by creating a category in our 2020 Celebrating Small Businesses Awards.

The ‘Wellbeing’ category recognises businesses that are taking action to create an environment in which their employees can succeed and enjoy positive health.

So, if as an employer you are doing exactly that, we hope that you will take the opportunity to enter our awards, for free, to show others how it can be done.