Freeing up small business leaders from admin could boost UK economy by £4.7billion

The research, from Creative Auto Enrolment and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), reveals these ‘Swiss army knife leaders’ are juggling an array of different tasks each day. Almost three quarters of those surveyed say they would like to spend more time growing their business, with leaders keen to spend more time on growth tasks such as marketing and strategic planning. Admin and red tape is proving a huge drain on leaders’ time, as the third most time consuming task, when in fact leaders wish it could fall to seventh place.

The findings are launched as businesses with less than 57 employees are ‘staging’ for auto enrolment. Just a quarter of these business leaders say they are confident they will find time to implement auto enrolment and make it a success.

David White, managing director of Creative Auto Enrolment, said: “Time is precious for all of us but for the heroic leaders of the country’s small firms, time is a commodity they never have enough of. Our research shows they are frustrated by the tasks that are taking away from their primary focus – growing their business.”

“Workplace pensions have been introduced with the best of intentions and will make a huge difference to everyone, but they shouldn’t get in the way of business growth. With auto enrolment taking each company up to 103 man days to implement, small businesses must find a solution that takes the burden of auto enrolment away, allowing them to focus on what’s important – running and growing their business.”

SME leaders admit that in an ideal world they’d spend less than half the time they currently spend on admin and red tape. However for almost half the task of auto enrolment is categorised under this heading, highlighting the fact that the legislation is going to eat further into the time they dedicate to growth activities. One in five business leaders are set to miss their preparations, either by ignoring auto enrolment completely or because they are unaware of what auto enrolment is.

Admin and red tape is the top task that business leaders would delegate if they could, as just 8 per cent feel that this task contributes to growth. When asked what is getting in the way of them spending time on more important tasks, the most popular answer was that having overall responsibility for these tasks means leaders are unable to delegate them; a third said that they lack the resource to delegate in the business. More than a fifth admit that they put off tasks they know are important but don’t enjoy doing.

Creative Auto Enrolment’s online solution is free to employers and allows businesses to be fully compliant with auto enrolment legislation in just a few seconds.

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