Story image

Xero champions workplace mental health for SMBs

05 Mar 2019

Xero has launched a new pilot programme that aims to support mental health and wellbeing amongst workers in New Zealand’s small businesses.

Xero is working in partnership with global wellness and health provider Benestar to offer the service. 

The programme, called Xero Assistance Programme (XAP), will be offered to 5000 small business owners, employees, and their families free of charge. 

Those who use XAP will be able to access face-to-face, phone, and online counselling for personal and work issues. Users will also be able to access the Benehub and Benestar app.

Xero says mental health is a major focus topic in New Zealand – around 25% of the workforce has been diagnosed with mental health issues. 

The Government’s Mental Health and Addiction inquiry showed that workplaces play a critical role in promoting mental health and wellbeing. 

Xero’s New Zealand & Pacific Islands managing director Craig Hudson knows what it’s like to experience mental health challenges, and now is the time for action.

“When it comes to mental health, our statistics in New Zealand are truly awful. Too many Kiwis are struggling and often don’t know where or who to turn to,” he says. 

“There is a growing need for mental health support in small business, with 80% of small business owners naming isolation as their main cause for concern. We have a collective responsibility, and this is our opportunity to step up, not to solve the problems, but to help.”

He notes that small businesses often don’t have access to funded counselling and support that bigger workplaces have.

“You only need to talk to a small business owner to hear of the challenges, particularly around isolation and financial stress,” he says.

Benestar’s New Zealand general manager Julie Cressey says the partnership with Xero is “groundbreaking”.

"They have recognised the need to support their business partners and customers in a real sense by acknowledging the personal challenges that small businesses can face.  Our experience tells us that this offering could potentially save lives and relationships by providing professional support to those facing personal and professional challenges.”

The programme is also being received well by Xero customers. Red Rabbit is a café and artisan roaster. Its owners, Saskia Kirkbeck and Steve Barret believe XAP shows Xero understands small businesses.

“We are a small team who spend a huge amount of time together and can sometimes struggle to get the space we need,” comment Kirkbeck and Barret. 

“We also know that sometimes the stress and workload associated with running a small business wears down your coping mechanisms so when something happens out of the blue that you’re unprepared for - you might not respond as well as you would’ve wanted. Having the opportunity to speak with someone with an outside perspective would be hugely valuable and it’s awesome that Xero is providing this opportunity.”

New Zealand Govt announces cloud framework agreement with SAP
“Data-driven solutions are the most powerful way to solve some of society’s most pressing problems."
What is a kilogram? Lower Hutt holds its own weight on a global scale
Forget the old ways of measuring a kilogram – quantum physics is going to be the driver of massive change in the way we look at some of the most common forms of measurements.
How digitisation delivers speed to Porsche service documents
With its Service Department drowning in paperwork, Giltrap Porsche looked to Fuji Xerox New Zealand and its DocuShare Flex cloud document management solution for digital answers.
Govt & Canterbury Uni pour $7m into gaming research
The funding will be used to boost the University of Canterbury’s Applied Immersive Gaming Initiative, which will research and accelerate public use of immersing gaming applications.
This Feilding school has just won an international robotics award (again!)
“In typical Kiwi fashion, our students think laterally to solve challenges, build prototypes, test and retest until they have a working model. All on their own time and all with their own ideas."
Adobe & Software AG transform customer experience management
Adobe and Software AG have announced a partnership that will help businesses transform their customer experience management.
Chch crypto exchange Cryptopia facing liquidation
It seems that Christchurch-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has been unable to recover after malicious cyber attackers stole around $20 million worth of cryptocurrency.
Adobe & Amazon: Making merchants' stores a lot more powerful
Magento Commerce branded stores for Amazon sellers features native integration with Amazon merchant tools including Amazon Pay and Fulfillment by Amazon. These provide the convenience of secure payments and speedy shipping services for buyers.