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Summer holidays cost home businesses £658 million

More than half of the 844,000 home business owners in the UK who have children will spend time away from their business to be with their family over the summer.

New research from Direct Line for Business has found that 60% of home business owners with dependent children take time away from their business over the holidays.

On average, these home business owners will invest four hours of working time every day, or 20 hours per working week, to look after and entertain their children during school breaks. The summer holidays are estimated to cost home businesses at least £658 million.

Despite the costs, 31% of respondents said they are motivated to work hard and succeed so that they can spend time with their children during the school holidays.

The research also reveals that many children gain valuable exposure to the world of business through their entrepreneurial parents. Three in ten (30%) parents suggest that their children learn entrepreneurial skills and 27% of children learn the value of work.

The cost of caring for children and taking time off from work varies widely across the UK, with home business owners in the South East set to lose the most at nearly £120 million. In London, the summer holidays will cost home business owners nearly £100 million; the figure for home businesses in Eastern England is £73 million.

Commenting on the findings, entrepreneur and author Annabel Karmel said: 

"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 in subsidising childcare costs for those operating home businesses."

But Karmel also advises entrepreneurial parents to make time for their families. 

"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," she said. "Don't feel guilty about swapping your laptop for a play date, or exchanging emails for a day out with the kids and family."

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