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Half a million SME owners opting to work over Christmas

Almost 500,000 small business owners have said they plan to work every day during the festive season in order to keep the wheels of their business turning, according to a survey commissioned by Bizdaq.

The survey suggests that the costs of employing additional staff to cover busy periods such as Christmas are putting small business owners off, resulting in them having to work longer hours to fill the void.

Some 2.3 million small business owners are opting not to take on more staff due to the rising costs of employment. It would appear that apprenticeships aren’t yet viewed as a happy medium by SME owners with only 14% of respondents planning to take on an apprentice in 2017.

In terms of holiday entitlement, small business owners take 11 fewer days annual leave than their full-time employed counterparts.

In total, 2.8 million small business owners will be working in some capacity over the Christmas holiday, with more than a third (34%) saying they simply can’t afford to take the time off.

It isn’t just Christmas where time-starved SME owners struggle to take time off. A third (34%) of owners surveyed said they have taken 10 or fewer days of holiday in 2016.

Sean Mallon, CEO, Bizdaq, said: “It is clear that small business owners are still being let down by successive governments. The hard work and effort put into running and building small businesses is not reflected in the Government’s attitude towards them, despite employing over 14.7 million across the UK.

“There have been many initiatives created with much noise, however the delivery has often been poor at best.

“The apprenticeship scheme as an example is a great idea, however many small business owners still have very little knowledge or access to this, as evidenced by our report finding that only 14% of small business owners plan on taking on an apprentice next year.

“To see that over 60% of small business owners won’t get a break over Christmas goes to show the dedication and passion they possess, and with 43% citing high taxes as a reason contributing towards having to work such long hours is very disappointing.”

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