Business owners sacrifice health for work

Perhaps surprisingly, it is those business owners with the most employees who have found it most difficult to get out of work to attend a health appointment.

41 per cent of those with 11 or more employees have missed, cancelled or delayed an appointment because of work, compared to 31 per cent of those with five to ten employees, 30 per cent of those with three or four employees, and just nine per cent of those with one or two members of staff.

Business owners who work the longest hours are most likely to have put their work before their health, with more than four in ten (43%) small business owners who work between 50 and 60 hours a week having put off or missed a health appointment due to work. This compares to just 13 per cent of those owners who work less than a 40 hour week.

The research also revealed that a third (33%) of small business owners are now working over 50 hours per week, while one in six (15%) are working weeks in excess of 65 hours; the equivalent of a minimum of 13 hours per day over a five day working week.

Paula Ickinger, Head of Business Banking Marketing at Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, who commissioned the survey, said: “The tough economic climate is forcing many small business owners to work incredibly hard at the moment, with a significant percentage of them working well over and above the maximum number of hours permitted by the European Working Time Directive.”

Paula added:  “However, missing health appointments for the sake of a heavy workload can be counter-productive in the long run, and small business owners should find a way of managing their work-life balance, taking the pressure off themselves a little and ensuring they don’t sacrifice their health for their wealth.

“Business owners should get as much support from their suppliers as they can. For example, a lot of time, energy and money can be saved by choosing a business bank that offers the best rates and the access and service they need.”