472,000 small business owners will work every day over Christmas and New Year

472,000 small business owners will be working every day over the Christmas holidays without a single day off, according to a survey commissioned by business for sale marketplace, Bizdaq (www.mybizdaq.com).

The research, conducted by Opinium, found that almost half a million small business owners will be working every day over the Christmas holidays – including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. A total of 2.8 million small business owners will be working in some capacity over the Christmas period.

Of the small business owners that will be working over Christmas, 34% said they were planning to work as they couldn’t afford to take the time off. A further 17% of owners are unable to take time off as they do not have enough staff to cover this period.

The cost of finding, training and employing staff is holding back 2.3 million small business owners from hiring additional staff. Additionally the National Minimum Wage and the Living Wage was cited as a growing reason for not being able to hire employees.

Apprenticeships still under utilised by small businesses 

Interestingly with the high numbers of small business owners stating that they can’t afford to take on new employees, only 14% are planning to take on an apprentice in 2017. This is alarming considering the incentives available for businesses hiring an apprentice.

Holidays sacrificed throughout the year

Christmas isn’t the only time that small business owners are having trouble taking time off though, as over a third of small business owners (34%) have only taken 10 or fewer days of holiday in 2016. The average amount of holiday days taken was 17, which is still over two weeks below the entitlement for an average full-time UK worker.

Sean Mallon, CEO of 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 14.7m 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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