43% of charities say mental health and wellbeing will be a challenge in 2021, reveals survey

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12th February 2021 13:55 - Voluntary

43% of charities say mental health and wellbeing will be a challenge in 2021: A survey of SME businesses has found that 43% of charities polled believe a key challenge for 2021 will be mental health and wellbeing following the year-long pandemic. This was also a concern for other sectors including education (45%) and energy and utilities (36%).

The research was conducted by business insurance specialist Hiscox and polled 1,000 SME business decision makers. 

Just under a third of respondents overall said that the mental health and wellbeing of their employees was of paramount importance to their business in 2021.

The survey also found that of the charities taking part,a third (33%) had been left with no choice but to reduce their workforce at the height of the pandemic, while 35% used the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough staff. 

Optimism about the year ahead

Better news for 2021, however, was that 59% of the charity and volunteer work sector also feel hopeful about the year ahead, more so than those in hospitality and events management (30%), energy and utilities (24%) and retail (23%). Consulting and management companies were the most optimistic, with 68% of staff feeling optimistic about the coming year, followed by accountancy, banking and finance firms (61%).

Other challenges businesses are expecting in 2021 include customer retention (28%), risk of closure (26%), staff retention (24%), employee development (21%) and revenue forecasting (21%). 

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