Easter holidays cost home businesses £220 million

New research1 from small business insurer, Direct Line for Business reveals that 60% of the 844,000 home business owners2 with dependent children take time away from their business to invest in their young ones during school holidays.

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Balancing the children and work can be a tough task for many home-based business owners

On average these home businesses invest four hours of working time every day, or 20 hours per working week, as they take time away from work to look after and entertain their children during school breaks. This is estimated to cost home businesses in the region of £220 million over the Easter break and around £658 million during the six week summer holiday3.

While there may be financial cost to the business the research reveals that many children gain valuable exposure to the world of business through their parents. Three in ten parents suggest that their children learn entrepreneurial skills and over a quarter (27%) of children learn the value of work.

Almost a third of parents (31%) feel their children being at home during the holidays gives them a reason to work hard and succeed, more than a quarter receive moral support and 13% benefit from the extra company they receive during the school holidays. Additionally, 10% of home business operators highlighted that they get more work done when their children are on holiday.

Jane Guaschi, Business Manager, at Direct Line for Business said, “Running a business from home is not for the faint hearted. Running such an enterprise whilst taking care of children is even tougher.

“This additional responsibility can be difficult to manage, so ensure you are well prepped for any surprises that may crop up during the busy holiday periods. At the least, it is worth considering home business insurance to cover you against any liabilities so that you can enjoy the time with your children whilst having one less thing to worry about.”

“That said, it is great to see that many business owners feel motivated to succeed and work harder when they are around their children.”

Annabel Karmel MBE, author and entrepreneur, added, “Being your own boss isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle, and so reducing the workload when the children are at home is easier said than done. To keep Britain’s businesses as productive as possible I believe there should be further investment into subsidising childcare costs for those operating home businesses.”

“Making the decision to run a business from home is often triggered by the need to have more flexibility as a parent, so give yourself a break. Don’t feel guilty about swapping your laptop for a playdate, or exchanging emails for an Easter egg hunt.”

The regional effect on the income of home businesses with dependent children over the Easter holidays (10 working days):

Region Losses
South East £39,424,840
London £32,972,160
East of England £24,333,660
South West £22,350,640
North West £21,060,000
West Midlands £18,549,960
Yorkshire and the Humber £16,619,980
East Midlands £15,074,800
Scotland £13,160,160
Wales £9,119,760
North East £6,760,000
UK £219,440,000

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1 Research conducted by Atomik Research amongst a representative sample of 1002 UK adults who run a business from home and have children under the age of 18. The research was conducted between 3rd and 6th March 2015.

2 844,000 self-employed home workers with dependent children in the UK. Data from ONS table: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/business-transparency/freedom-of-information/what-can-i-request/published-ad-hoc-data/labour/march-2015/number-of-home-workers–2013.xls

3 Easter holidays calculated as 10 working days and minimum wage rate (£6.50) used as basis of monetary figures: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates