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01 August 2019

New award will recognise wellbeing in small business initiatives in the UK

A new Wellbeing in Small Business Award is amongst the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2020 that open for entries today (1 August). The award will recognise and celebrate the smaller firms that are demonstrating initiatives and practices that prioritise wellbeing and health in the workplace to help drive the UK’s productivity.  

The annual bill for sickness absence sits at £29 billion across the UK while research from FSB’s member medical and health advice service shows that the number of small businesses seeking mental health advice has doubled in the last five years.

Addressing mental health in the workplace remains a challenge, particularly for smaller workplaces and the self-employed. Research shows that poor mental health in the workplace is widespread, with around half (48%) of people saying they have experienced a mental health problem in their current job.

The award is a new addition to the 12 FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2020 categories, which include high-growth business; digital business; environmental business and business and product innovation award; family business and young entrepreneur.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said:

I’m really proud that we’ve added this new category to the 2020 FSB Awards; a commitment to wellbeing in the workplace can not only help increase productivity, improve performance and reduce absenteeism, the benefits are also felt within society.

“There’s never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and not every idea will work for every business. There are many affordable ideas, from being more open about mental health within the workplace to improving the physical working environment.

 “I’m looking forward to seeing some of the wide ranging wellbeing practices of our smaller businesses have in place through their award entries alongside all the other award entries.

Twelve area finals will be taking place between January and April 2020 across the UK, with the UK national final taking place on 21 May 2020 at Battersea Evolution, London. The 2019 FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards UK winners included a vegan pet food export company (Ethical Green Business of the Year); an independent crisp brand (Micro-Business of the Year); and a high performing Loch Ness cruise family business (overall winner).

More information can be found at


Notes to Editors

  1. The annual bill for sickness absence sits at £29 billion across the UK, according to the Thriving at Work: the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers report.

  2. FSB, in partnership with Heads Together, the mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, launched a toolkit for mental health for small workplaces in May 2019.


  3. The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards are run by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to recognise and celebrate the vast contribution that smaller businesses and the self-employed make to the UK. They are open to all small businesses and are free to enter.

  4. There are 5.6 million small businesses in the UK. These account for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses. Total employment in SMEs is 16.3 million; 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. The combined annual turnover of SMEs is £2.0 trillion, 52% of all private sector turnover.

Media enquiries

Kerry Curtis at FSB: / 07815 537 657