One in seven SME owners will not take any holiday in 2014

It’s the height of holiday season for many Brits, yet 1 in 7 (14%) of SME owners will take no time off work at all in 2014. This is despite ongoing signs of economic recovery which would suggest that business owners could afford to take a break.


The findings come from the latest SME Risk Index by global insurer Zurich, and highlight the fact that a significant proportion of owners of Britain’s SMEs are not enjoying the annual leave which comes as standard for those employed within larger firms. 1 in 3 (33%) of SME owners will take 10 days or fewer of holiday this year, and 3 in 5 (60%) will take less than the UK statutory of 20 days of annual leave(excluding bank holidays).

Of those who expect to take 10 days or less holiday in 2014, the most common cause is that they are worried about being away from the business for too long. This is followed by concerns about loss of potential business and the expense of taking time off.

1 in 5 SME owners (22%) agree that they don’t have anyone they can trust to take over their work if they go on holiday, and 19% say their customers expect them to be available every day, preventing them from taking time off. One quarter (24%) feel they have to close down the business temporarily if they go on holiday.


Richard Coleman, Director of SME at Zurich, comments:

“It will come as no surprise to small business owners that despite some views about the lifestyle benefits of working for yourself, the reality is much different. One in seven SME owners don’t expect to take any holiday at all this year, a shocking statistic that shows the pressure of running a small business despite the economic recovery.”

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