NatWest has unveiled MentorDigital, a new free digital advice platform aimed at offering advice to SMEs post lockdown.
The launch is effectively an enhanced version of NatWest’s existing Mentor service and will offer help on employment law and HR, as well as delivering health and safety guidance for small business owners.
Alongside their everyday bookkeeping and accounting tasks many SMEs are looking for help with challenging business predicaments. Frequently, calls to NatWest’s Mentor service are focused on personnel issues.
NatWest reports that 47% of the calls it has received over the last year have been in relation to staff redundancies. Meanwhile, 34% of calls to the advice line were related to the furlough scheme. Overall, 4 out of 5 calls received by the NatWest Mentor service were in relation to issues surrounding employment.
The bank says it has seen an 80% increase in businesses looking for help and advice on employment law and HR support, which can cover everything from payroll through to recruitment in the wake of the pandemic.
Iain Cumby, Mentor CEO, NatWest said “With the worst of the pandemic now hopefully behind us, SMEs face the next challenge of adjusting to the new normal. Changes to working arrangements, covid-compliance, the end of the furloughing scheme and the vaccine debate are all crucial issues that business owners with staff will be considering how to approach.
Through Mentor, we’re here to provide SMEs with our free digital platform, as well as a telephone advice service to help businesses ensure they’re well prepared for all these issues, keeping themselves and their staff safe in the process, and allowing them to focus on what matters in the months and years ahead – making their business thrive.”