According to new research by Marsh, small and medium-sized companies across the UK are most concerned about the impact of employee mental health and wellbeing, financial uncertainty, and health and safety on their businesses over the next 12 months.

The findings come from Marsh’s UK Business Risk Report 2022, which found that almost half (49%) of respondents identified employee mental health and wellbeing as a key risk, up from 30 percent in 2021 when COVID-19-related risks dominated business risk registers. 

While over one-third (36%) of businesses questioned remain concerned about financial uncertainty – indicating that balance sheet volatility still persists – Marsh recorded a decrease by 6 percent from 2021. 

One-third (33%) of respondents identified health and safety as a key concern this year, up marginally from 32.6 percent last year.


What are the top three risks?

The top three emerging risks – identified as being of the greatest concern – all reflect the wider economic climate. 

Two-fifths (39%) of respondents pointed to increased energy costs, and a third (32%) cited inflation. Also, 27 percent said staff shortages were a pressing issue. 

Rising inflation can have an acute impact on firms’ risk and insurance programmes, resulting in underinsurance of property and other valuable assets.


Commenting on the findings, Alistair Fraser, CEO, Corporate & Commercial UK, Marsh, said:

“Small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, in every region and sector, are navigating a hugely diverse array of risks amidst a very challenging operating environment. Since the survey was conducted, UK inflation has reached a 40-year high, which will have a profound impact on how these firms operate in the near and longer-term. As new risks emerge and current risks continue to evolve, we urge businesses to review their current insurance arrangements and approach to risk management, to build even greater resilience into their people and operations.”






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.