The survey conducted by MedLife also found that almost a fifth of businesses have reported a significant disruption this past year, with employee absence cost at 13 per cent of SME payroll on average.
However, as much as 25 per cent of SMEs offer staff help with health and wellness, while only ten per cent provide flexitime so employees can take exercise.
Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director of MetLife UK said: “Staff absence is a major issue for SMEs with nearly one in five suffering serious disruption in the past year. SMEs by their nature do not have the resources to replace staff easily and have to bear the cost of absences.”
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