Faced with a barely growing economy, the government has targeted smaller companies as a major source of growth and has introduced reforms to encourage start-ups and make it easier for existing businesses to expand, reports The Telegraph.
Stress had a noticeable impact on businesses in 2012, with decision-makers from British SMEs indicating that the negative effect of stress levels, low morale and staff absence could be set to continue unless the economic environment improves. 29 per cent of SMEs polled state that these issues are having a negative impact on overall business performance.
According to a fifth of SMEs surveyed, workforce absence levels have risen over the past two years, with 12 per cent reporting more short-term stress-related absences of less than four weeks in the last year.
Fears that Britain is sliding into a triple-dip recession have been rejected by a leading business group as it reported a pickup in jobs, investment and activity in both the manufacturing and services sectors, reports The Guardian.
Its annual survey, of 1,018 schemes run by 280 private sector firms, found that only 13% were still open to new joiners, down from 19% in 2011.
Meanwhile 31% were now closed to existing staff as well, up from 23% the previous year.
The NAPF said new staff in the private sector now had “next to no chance” of joining a final-salary scheme.