Bringing down the premium on doing business in Ireland

The cost of doing business in Ireland is on the rise as organisations – regardless of industry – battle soaring insurance costs. As firms face relentless hikes on their premiums year-on-year, it is a catastrophe for our small to medium-sized enterprises and is deterring entrepreneurism.

This issue was highlighted last year when the Oireachtas Business Committee published its Cost of Doing Business Report, which found that almost all organisations have concerns over the rising cost of insurance. Some said they have experienced ‘exponential’ increases over the last number of years and according to a survey carried out by the Alliance for Insurance Reform, 45% of businesses believe that insurance costs are a threat to their organisation.

This cannot continue. It is not sustainable for business and it is not sustainable for Ireland.

The insurance industry points to the rise in the cost and volume of claims as being the driving force behind the explosion in premium costs. But this is at a time when it has never been so affordable for businesses to be compliant and keep workplace incidents to a minimum.

We know that health and safety training helps to reduce workplace incidents, but until recently it has largely been viewed as a luxury enjoyed by multinationals. The rise of eLearning, however, means that businesses no longer have to invest in classroom-based tuition. Instead, employees can participate in more cost-effective online training courses as and when needed. That means new recruits don’t have to wait until the next scheduled training session, and employees can be given training updates or refreshers on a more regular basis.

This doesn’t just mean sticking employees in front of a screen. Today’s eLearning platforms incorporate the latest technologies including virtual reality and extended reality – ensuring staff members not only retain information, but can apply it to real world situations.

By investing in eLearning, businesses can train employees for less, while also saving on costs relating to non-compliance and poor adherence to health and safety standards. That means fewer pay-outs and reduced vulnerability to high-cost claims.

Smart businesses who are proactively working to drive down the cost of doing business should not be penalised by a one-size-fits-all insurance model. By taking a unified approach to reduce workplace incidents, businesses can start a movement to effect change before the premium on our economy becomes too great.