Insurance · 5 August 2016

One-in-four owners risk health to run their small business

Ill employee
1.3m UK small business owners said they’d suffered health issues due to work-related pressures

Small business owners work 13 hours per week more than the UK average, putting the health and wellbeing of as many 28 per cent of the country’s small firm owners at risk.

As many as 1.3m small business owners said they’d suffered health issues due to pressures related to running their venture, with 660,000 of those revealing that business had negatively impacted their mental health.

Documenting the work-life balance of UK small and micro business owners, the findings were published in The Small Business Owner Wellbeing Report 2016 commissioned by online platform Bizdaq.

While small business owners were found to work roughly 50 hours per week on average, some 370,000 were found to work more than 60 hours a week, while as many as 94,000 work more than 80 hours a week. The national average is 37 hours of work per week.

Holidays were also found to be much less of an option for small business owners. The study found that over half a million had not taken any leave since starting their venture.

Bizdaq CEO Sean Mallon said that the findings of the report were astonishing. “The fact that so many small business owners are struggling shows the need for the government to do more to support them. Now more than ever the UK needs strong small businesses.”

The extent of the North-South divide was also revealed by the study. Business ownership in the North of England was found to be far more burdensome, with twice as many northern small firm owners claiming their health had been affected than southern owners.

In the East Midlands – the most heavily impacted region – 38 per cent of small business owners said they’d experienced a negative impact on their health, whereas in the least affected region – the South East – just 8 per cent of owners reported any negative impact.

Mallon went on to say that the abolishment of several regional enterprise schemes by the coalition government in 2010, such as the regional advisor program and Business Link, left a vacuum for UK enterprise and small business owners with nowhere to turn at the local level.

“I would call upon the new small business minister Margot James to prioritise re-establishing business support on a local level,” he added.

These eight apps could help your workforce to become healthier and more productive.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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