Sickness absence from people in supply chain jobs and other roles is costing small businesses around £1,500 per year, according to new research.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that while the average number of days off is lower in small businesses compared to the national average – 2.4 days per employee per year in contrast to 7.7 days – the cost is greater.
Furthermore, for nine per cent of small businesses, it cost £5,000 and this had led the FSB to call for more government help.
John Walker, national chairman of the FSB, said that there is more ministers can do to improve the situation for smaller firms.
"The government must provide a small employers relief for statutory sick pay in the same way they do for statutory maternity pay so those small businesses that experience a member of staff on long-term sickness absence, are not hampered and are given the support they need," he said.
Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce said earlier this month that two-thirds of companies are looking to hire for new positions in the coming months.