Two out of five small business owners never talk to their staff about their physical or mental health, despite the cost of stress in the workplace, according to new research.
A survey of 250 business bosses and senior management in smaller firms found that one in four were not confident about recognising stress or depression among their employees.
Health firm Bupa said its findings showed that health was often overlooked because of the pace at which many small businesses have to work, especially in a struggling economy.
Health minister Simon Burns said: "The Government is working with businesses and organisations to encourage them to commit to taking action to help improve the health of their employees.
"More and more companies are joining up to the Government's responsibility deal - health at work network, which aims to take preventative measures to stop employees getting ill and helps them make informed choices about their health."