Over half of all SME employers are fearful that the new government welfare and health reforms are going to cost them heavily according to new research released from Jelf Group. As a result of the negative fears surrounding the reforms the group has asked the House of Lords to help proactively prevent consequences to SMEs by taking a closer look at how the new regimes are going to affect businesses and take measures to help lessen the blow on SMEs that are already struggling with the economy.
Jelf Group conducted a survey that included 169 SMEs at a seminar held by the employee benefits intermediary group and found that about 55% of the business owners in attendance were concerned about the implications of the reform. The main reason for the fears was found to be the increased financial pressures that were going to fall on SMEs with strained budgets due to the recent overhaul of welfare and the NHS. The group added that there were also many small details in the new reform that could inadvertently hurt the companies as well.
For instance, with longer waiting lists for use of the NHS many key employees could find it harder to get in to see a doctor making the time it takes them to return to the work setting longer. For companies that are dependent on just a few companies the elongated absence of one or two employees could be disastrous. Also a concern is the new WCA standards which could see people being approved to return to work that are actually not healthy enough to be at work affecting their work performance and potentially endangering the health of those around them within the small business work setting.