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Payment pressures hit mental health

UK: The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) claims that nine out of 10 business owners across construction suffer mental health issues due to payment and other business pressures.

The claims are based on the results of a survey run by leading engineering services trade bodies BESA and ECA, in association with 25 other construction trade bodies.

It found that business owners have an array of significant mental health problems due to the pressures of late or unfair payment, including stress (80%), depression (36%), extreme anger (38%), anxiety and/or panic attacks (40%), insomnia (36%), suicidal feelings (10%).

BESA maintains that unfair payment practices also impact employees right across a business. Of all the respondents, four said they had attempted suicide as a result, while 80% reported a mental health issue. Furthermore, 41% of respondents said that payment issues had strained their relationship with their partner, with 5% reporting it caused it to breakdown entirely.

“Systemic payment abuse causes broken lives and broken buildings and must be stamped out,” said BESA CEO David Frise. “The economic damage of these practices is well known but this survey has shed light onto its devastating human cost. Thousands of owners and workers of SMEs have struggled and suffered with this abuse for too long and with a General Election underway they will be reflecting upon who will most likely represent their concerns.”

This survey, aimed mainly at business owners, CEOs and managers, was run by ECA and BESA, in association with the Prompt Payment Directory. The survey received 613 responses in total, with 213 of these from business owners and sole traders.

BESA has long campaigned on the issue of fair payment and retention issues.

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