New research suggests UK SME owners are working through illness in order to keep their firms afloat. Image courtesy of: sxc.hu
Owners of small businesses are working longer hours, when sick, and with fewer holidays in order to keep their businesses afloat, according to new research from Clydesdale Bank
More than 2.5 million (57 percent) of SME owners have not taken time off sick in the last three years. Between them they have worked an additional 15.3 million days since 2009 compared to the average UK employee, who takes six sick days a year.
According to the Clydesdale Bank in Peterborough, many entrepreneurs in the South East are contributing to the significant 64 million extra working days taken each year in the UK by small business owners.
“Small business owners across the East of England have invested their own money and passion in their company, so they will fight through the coughs and colds that might keep others at home under the duvet,” said Martin Guildford, managing partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Peterborough Financial Solutions Centre
“When the bottom line is that the success of your business rests on you, there is a massive motivation to keep going when a regular employee might not.”
Clydesdale also said that one million SME owners across the country are working over 45 hours per week, with close to two-thirds working more than 50 hours. The standard working week is 35 hours.
Martin added: “During a tough period for the economy, taking on or even just keeping staff has been difficult for small businesses. Owners, who often don’t draw much of a salary or pay themselves overtime, are working extended hours to ensure their businesses survive.”